Education for ministry

Education for Ministry (EfM) is an international program founded in 1975 by the School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee. More than 100,000 lay people have participated in EfM to help discern and carry out their ministries. EfM helps faithful people encounter the breadth and depth of Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection.

At its heart, EFM is a program based in a set of five core practices that form and support us in the various ministries to which we are called:

  • Living in Community
  • Regular Prayer and Worship
  • Theological Reflection
  • Study of the Christian Tradition
  • Vocational Discernment

Education for Ministry is a four-year program that emphasizes a different area of knowledge each year:

  • Year A: Hebrew Bible
  • Year B: The New Testament
  • Year C: Church History
  • Year D: Theology, Ethics, and Interfaith Encounter

The Diocese of Western New York has a strong history of EfM involvement. Please contact Linda Makson at 585.781.4661 or to learn more about EfM in our partnership dioceses or to ask about starting an EfM group.

Formation Resources


A portal with a variety of video-based learning opportunities, founded by the Rev. Chris Yaw and featuring leaders from across the Episcopal Church. Visit the website.

Church Publishing

The publishing arm of the Episcopal Church, Church Publishing offers books and digital resources in categories including Curriculum & Faith Formation, Prayer and Spirituality, and the Episcopal Church / Anglicanism. Visit the website.


Forma  is the Network for Christian Formation for the Episcopal Church. Visit the website and join the Facebook group.

Forward Movement

An Episcopal Church publisher of books and digital resources for prayer, spirituality, evangelism, pastoral care, vestry, and more. Visit the website.

Grow Christians

A ministry of Forward Movement, Grow Christians gathers reflections, stories, images, and recipes from Episcopalians. Visit the website.

Rhythms of Grace

A program developed at Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington, Connecticut that supports children on the autism spectrum or other special needs. Visit the website.

Virginia Theological Seminary Center for Lifelong Learning

The VTS Center for Lifelong Learning provides formation resources for all ages and multiple contexts. Programs include Building Faith, Christian Formation and Discipleship, curriculums for Episcopal youth and children and more. Visit the website.

Spiritual Formation Resources from the Partnership

These short videos will introduce you to numerous practices that may help you deepen your spiritual life. The practices include centering prayer, praying the daily office, praying with icons and others.

Developing Your Personal Prayer Practice

Praying with Icons

Praying the Daily Office

Walking the Labyrinth

Centering Prayer

Using Prayer Beads

Making Prayer Beads

To make the prayer beads described in the video, you’ll need:

  • heavy fishing line or Wildfire beading thread
  • cross or crucifix charm
  • 33 beads: 28 “week” beads, 4 cruciform beads, and 1 invitatory bead
  • E6000 glue
  • scissors