On Wednesday, July 17, The School of Theology welcomed 100+ mentors, coordinators, and trainers to the four-day Re-Visioning Education for Ministry (EfM) Conference. The conference celebrated the rich history of the 38 years of EfM and envision ministry formation and education in the 21st century and beyond.
In September 2013, EfM will launch a brand new curriculum for the program, eliminating the red-binder books for each of the four years of study (Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, and Theology, Ethics, and Interfaith Encounter) and replacing them with books that not only cover the courses but also allow for the building of a personal theological library for the students. This conference will give all participants the opportunity to become familiar with the new curriculum.
Karen Meridith, executive director of EfM, hopes the conference will build proficiency and confidence among the coordinators, mentors, and trainers in using the new revised curriculum. “I will take this time to provide the background and rationale for the changes while getting valuable feedback from the people who will be implementing and guiding the changes out in the field,” explains Meridith. “It’s exciting because this is the first major revision of the EfM curriculum in more than 15 years.”
A revised Reading and Reflection guide will replace the Common Lessons. “Through these new guides, participants will receive the structure to support them as they live out their ministries on a daily basis,” explains the Rev. Richard E. Brewer, lead writer for the curriculum revision.
Several other topics will be visited during the conference, including the training of the mentors — what kind of training will best support them and what changes may be helpful to the current practices. Additionally, there will be special worship services and recognition of mentors, coordinator, and trainer, milestones.