Building Faith

Building Faith website is published by Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. Their mission is to equip and inspire churches and individuals for the ministry of Christian education and faith formation.

“We believe that Christian education means helping all ages – children, youth, and adults – grow in the knowledge and love of God. We also know that formation happens in many ways: worship, church school, faith at home, outreach, mission, camp, and more.”

Building Faith is a website that provides information about curricula for all ages and offers practical advice and articles to help clergy and laity engaged in the ministry of education. While Building Faith was started as an Episcopal resource and is maintained by an Episcopal seminary, the website has a variety of articles by practitioners from various denominations.

Visit the Building Faith website!

Diocesan Library

The Diocese has a variety of books, curricula and other resources that are available to congregations. These resources are stored in bookcases in the upper conference room and the in the lower level hallway. There is no requirement to “sign out” a resource or even to return it. Feel free to take what you need — return it if it seems good to you. Or contribute a resource you’d like to share.

We’d love to have someone sort and organize these resources, label the shelves and prepare a page that tells people where different topics are stored. If you’re inspired to offer this service, contact or call Mary Ann Mello at 401-274-4500.


LeaderResources is an Episcopal publishing and consulting organization that offers downloadable resources — most of them developed by Episcopalians for their own churches and shared with others.


The CHILDREN’S section has multi-year curricula including its popular WorkshopCycles which offers several sessions on the same Biblical story: art, music, drama, movies, stories, etc. It also includes short series often used for seasons or Vacation Bible School as well as intergenerational and home faith resources.


The YOUTH section has the same assortment of long and short term programs. But LeaderResources is best known for the Journey to Adulthood (J2A) program which is a six year process of spiritual formation for youth. This section also has several confirmation programs and several shorter programs including MIQRA, a weekend retreat where you read the entire Bible in 72 hours and The Many Faces of God, an intergenerational resource exploring faith traditions.


The ADULT section of LeaderResources has a wide range of adult formation resources including Journey in Faith and LifeCycles which are multi-year programs comparable to EFM. You will also find shorter programs designed for Sunday mornings, longer programs forevenings, programs for newcomers and confirmands, and resources focused on the seasonscurrent eventsspirituality and the Scriptures. The programs are downloadable and are designed to be led by average members of a congregation.


Resources published by LeaderResources (vs. those sold for other publishers) are available to Episcopal churches in Rhode Island for a discount you choose — 25%, 50%, 75% or free. Contact Mary Ann Mello for information on how to order or call 800-941-2218 for more information.

Education for Ministry


Every baptized person is called to ministry. The Education for Ministry (EfM) program provides people with the education to carry out that ministry. 

Lay persons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church’s faith in a complex and confusing world. They need a theological education which supports their faith and also teaches them to express that faith in day-to-day events. As the emphasis on lay ministry has grown, EfM has come to play an important role by providing a program that develops an informed and knowledgeable laity

EFM is a program of theological education at a distance, offered by Sewanee School of Theology. The Diocese of RI is a sponsoring Diocese, and students of EFM sign up one year at a time for this four-year program. The seminar group is the nucleus of the Education for Ministry program. A group consists of six to twelve participants and a trained mentor who meet weekly over the course of a nine-month academic year. These meetings are usually from two and a half to three hours in length. A variety of resources enable participants to gain in-depth knowledge about:

  • Year One: The Hebrew Bible
  • Year Two: The New Testament
  • Year Three: Church History
  • Year Four: Theology, Ethics, and Interfaith Encounter

Through discussion and guided reflection, the seminars furnish an opportunity to deepen understanding of the reading materials. More important is the development of skills in theological reflection. The goal is to learn to think theologically. By examining their own beliefs and their relationship to our culture and the tradition of our Christian faith, participants can learn what it means to be effective ministers in the world. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has the potential for manifesting the love of Christ, we discover that our ministry is at hand wherever we turn.

The program grants a certificate of completion of the four years and 18 Continuing Education Units for each year’s work.

Learn more about  Education for Ministry HERE.

To find an EFM course near you or to start an EFM group in your church, contact the Rhode Island EFM Coordinator, Rev. Susan Wrathall.