Education for Ministry
Education for Ministry is a unique, experiential four-year correspondence education program for laity, under the auspices of the Programs Center of the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Since its founding in 1975, the program has assisted more than 75,000 students discover how to respond to the call of their Christian service.
This fall is the beginning of an exciting new direction for the program. Current theological scholars keep the focus true to the goal of educating people around the world and helping them to realize their ministry fulfillment. That part of our lives, striving to answer the Biblical call to honor the baptismal promises, informs how we behave at work, in the marketplace, or in social encounters.
Students receive curriculum books each year. After four years, students have built an extensive library of theological references. The lineup for this year is impressive and includes: Christopher Bryan’s And God Spoke, William Countryman’s Living on the Border of the Holy, among others.
The first year focuses on the Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament. Year two focuses on the Christian Scriptures, or the New Testament. The third year studies the first 3,000 years of Christianity. And the final year challenges students by using three texts that focus on theology, ethics and interfaith encounters from a practical theological perspective.
Each year is made up of 36 sessions. The typical agenda consists of: opening prayer, brief check-in, response to the readings, theological reflection and closing worship. Theological reflection exercises allow individuals to share spiritual autobiographies, practice listening and reflecting both as individuals and a group.
The focus is to develop a spiritual life that supports our ministries and examines the relationship between belief and behavior. In this fashion we explore ways to listen to God’s call for our Education for Ministry in the world.
There are currently nine groups sponsored by the Diocese of San Diego. Online classes are available; one of the following is online. Thanks to diocesan sponsorship, the cost is only $350 per individual per year when paid in advance. Mentors are located in: Del Mar, Temecula, San Diego, Bonita, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Point Loma and La Jolla.
The scholastic season cycle is nine months, normally starting in the fall and ending in the summer. This cycle may vary, depending on each group’s desires; it is usually broken into sections with specific meeting dates. Mentors are happy to present orientation meetings and answer any questions you may have about the program. You may also contact me, 858-449-8835, for a mentor in the area nearest you. +