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Participants in the EFM program study the entire sweep of the Christian tradition from the earliest period to the present. Participants learn the disciplines of biblical exegisis and interpretation, systematic theology, church history, ethics, liturgies and ascetical theology.

The traditional content is not studied in a vacuum. Students belong to small "communities of learning" in which the events of each person's life may be examined in the light of the materials being studied. While the course materials provide substantial academic content, the focus of the program is on life as ministry and understanding that ministry. EFM provides Christians with that basic skill which is the foundation of all Christian ministry - theological reflection. In doing this, participants sharpen their skills of personal and cultural assessment and enhance abilities to be effective in a variety of ministries.
Outline of Reading Materials: The program recommends thirty-six group meetings during the course of an academic cycle. New members begin with the first lesson of Year One. Participants in the same group may be studying at different levels. In addition to the textbooks listed below, students will received a Reading and Reflection Guide which is a study guide to learn to reflect theologically, and to develop spirituality.

The Texts for Cycle A (2017-2018)

EfM Reading and Reflection Guide (All Year Levels)

• Living Faithfully in Our World: EfM Reading and Reflection Guide A

§ Sharing and Listening to Spiritual Autobiographies
§ Thinking Theologically
§ Developing a Sustaining Spirituality
§ Integrating Belief and Behavior
§ Vocation: Hearing and Responding to God’s Call

Year One: The Hebrew Bible
• A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible by John J. Collins (Fortress Press, 2007)

Year Two: The New Testament
• Introducing the New Testament by Mark Allen Powell (Baker Academic, 2009)

Year Three: Church History
• Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch (Penguin Books, 2009)

Year Four: Theology, Ethics, and Interfaith Encounter

  • Theology: A Very Short Introduction by David F. Ford (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Mysteries of Faith by Mark McIntosh (The New Church's Teaching Series, 2000)
  • The Christian Moral Life: Practices of Piety by Timothy F. Sedgwick (Seabury Books, 2008)
  • My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation by Jennifer Howe Peace, Or N. Rose, and Gregory Mobley (Orbis Books, 2012)