EFM: Education for Ministry, New Zealand
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of EfM?

EfM is designed to provide a comprehensive, experiential adult learning programme that combines personal study with discussion, reflection, worship, and fellowship in small groups. EfM enables adult Christians to develop their individual gifts, by equipping them with insight, knowledge, skills and confidence to discern their own mission and ministries, individually and in their local faith communities.

 

How does EfM work?

The EfM group is the nucleus of the EfM programme. A group consists of 6-10 participants and a trained mentor who meet weekly or fortnightly for 2-3 hours over the course of a year. An EfM group can start at any time of the calendar year. The new curriculum is designed for 36 sessions.

 

Who participates in EfM?

EfM is for lay people of all ages; participants are aged from their 20s to their 80s. At baptism, every Christian receives Christ’s call to ministry. EfM has equipped many thousands of people around the world, helping them to discern and develop their gifts and call to ministry.

 

Why do people choose to participate in EfM?

Each participant has their own expectation, but all are thirsty to learn and explore the Christian faith. Many want to know more about the Christian heritage. Others want to continue their spiritual growth, prepare for specific ministries within the church or community, or deepen their Christian discipleship. Yet others find EfM a safe way to look at the big questions of life: Who am I? Who/what is God? What is the meaning of life?

 

What can you expect from EfM?

EfM encourages honest exploration of issues within a safe and trusting environment. It recognises that people come with a range of views and ideas about God, and fosters a culture of mutual respect for diversity. As well as discussing the study material, participants share their stories and faith journeys, and explore their call to Christian ministry. Members often go away from gatherings with more questions than answers, but always with much food for thought and reflection.

Generally, EfM participants find that examination of their own beliefs and practices in the light of popular culture and Christian tradition helps to clarify issues in their lives and shape their own ministry and its effectiveness.

 

How much time does the EfM course take?

Participants begin the four year course, committing to one year at a time. They commit to do their reading and personal reflection (about 3-5 hours per week), and agree to attend meetings as a faithful member of the group (2-3 hours per session).

 

What does EfM cost?

EfM costs are very competitive as an academic programme. A full year of study costs $260.70 including GST. In addition, participants are responsible for buying their own text books (three per year, apart from Year 4). Participants are free to choose how to purchase these (eg from book stores or online; new or second hand). Many of the texts are also available as e-books. At present the three books needed for Year 1 cost about $80-$90 if ordered online.

 

What qualification does EfM give ?

EfM is a learning programme from the School of Theology at the University of the South, Tennessee, USA. People who complete the full four-year EfM course receive a graduation certificate. There are no formal assignments or exams and EfM does not provide credits towards any other diploma or degree. The emphasis is on personal study and growth.

 

What comments have participants made about the EfM course?

Some testimonies are here.

 

I have more questions…

Have a look at other parts of our website and the latest newsletter or email the Executive Officer. We welcome your interest in EfM!