Education for Ministry in the Diocese of Washington

The History and Scope of the Program

The Education for Ministry program began in 1975 at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee with a vision of enrolling a few hundred students. Within a few years it developed into a program reaching several thousand students with groups around the globe. This rapid growth and geographical reach of EfM surprised everyone, including its founder, the Reverend Charles Winters. By 1980, nearly 4,000 participants were enrolled. By 1985 the program had contracts with 56 dioceses across the Episcopal Church. By 1995 EfM had become an International program with affiliates in Canada, the Bahamas, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia (which includes Hong Kong), and New Zealand. Since then a group in Botswana has started, and four new groups in the Virgin Islands will launch soon. EfM now has contracts with 93 of the 100 Episcopal dioceses in the United States.

This exponential growth speaks to the longing among the Episcopal laity for substantive opportunities to learn and grow in community with other people of faith.