Equipping for Ministry

Woodbrooke’s two-year Equipping for Ministry (EfM) programme is designed to give you a solid grounding in thinking about what it is to be a Quaker in the world today, and how you are personally called to live out that ministry. The course is designed to benefit both you and your meeting. As part of a religious group without a separated priesthood, it is important that we are all properly prepared to play our part in the life of our Quaker meetings and as Friends in the wider world.

Equipping for Ministry (EfM) is a flexible two-year part-time programme structured around a combination of time at Woodbrooke, online learning and projects for personal study and reflection.

The programme starts with an introductory weekend, and includes a week-long residential in each of the two years of EfM. The residential weeks are very intensive and have dedicated programmes of group study, combined with times for retreat; individual study; meetings with tutors; creative work and worship.

In addition, you create your own programme of study from our wide range of courses. To mark the end of the two years there is a completion weekend.

When you enroll on EfM you will be assigned a personal tutor who will meet with you regularly. They will guide you in designing your course of studies, and act as a mentor and witness to what you are discovering through the two years.

Between visits to Woodbrooke you will undertake project work for study and reflection back home and join the online elements of the course.


Due to the current circumstances, we are not accepting new EfM starters for 2021.

For more information about Equipping for Ministry programme please email learning@woodbrooke.org.uk

or download a copy of the EfM Brochure here.

What do past participants have to say…

Equipping for Ministry Woodbrooke Quaker Conference CentreI began Equipping for Ministry at the start of 2016, and immediately found what I’d been looking for ever since my return from Pendle Hill, the American Woodbrooke, in 2005 – a loving, supportive community who would challenge me, co-operate with me, encourage me to contemplate and reassess my life, work out how to give myself the self-care I needed, and offer friendship and loving support along the way, while also enabling me to reciprocate, sharing others’ discoveries, struggles, and joys.

I’m nearing the end of my first year of the course, and feel as though I’m surrounded by strands of brightly-coloured wool which are going to end up making a gorgeous tapestry.  At the moment I haven’t a clue what the picture is, or where it’s going to be hung: and that doesn’t matter.  Re-learning to let go, and to let God, is both terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure!   

EfM provides grounding in the four key aspects of life as a member of the Quaker faith community:

Spirit – Supporting and deepening individuals’ personal growth and understanding. Nurturing the spiritual life of our communities and exploring a variety of personal and corporate spiritual practices, including the expression of spirituality through the creative arts.

Tradition – Discovering and understanding the faith and practice of Quakers from the 17th century to the present day. Exploring the history of Quarkerism, its roots in the Christian traditions and the diversity of present-day Friends in Britain and around the world.

Community – Deepening our understanding of what it means to be a Quaker today, as individuals, meetings and a wider Quaker community. Exploring faith, life practices, and organisation of the contemporary Quaker community and supporting and nurturing Friends within that community.

World – Exploring and understanding Quaker testimony, and its various expressions amongst Friends, reflecting on how we can live out our faith in today’s world whilst supporting Quaker concern, witness, and activism.

There are two elements in EfM course fees:

The Core Programme fee – £2,835 (2020 intake – guide price only for future years)

This covers all the core programme elements, including induction and completion weekends, both first and second-year residentials, the online programme, tutor support and programme administration.

The Variable Programme fee – £1,470 (2020 intake – guide price only for future years)

This covers six short courses you choose from the Woodbrooke programme for EfM. This price varies depending on the type and length of course you choose.

Download a copy of the EfM Brochure for more payment options

Getting help with the cost

• Many area and some local meetings have funds to support Friends’ ministry, spiritual growth and education. We encourage participants who need financial help to find out what might be available from their meeting.
• Woodbrooke has a bursary fund offered on all courses and visit Financial Support for more details.
• There are also a small number of more substantial Wilfrid Littleboy bursaries available for EfM participants each year; for more details contact us (see below). The deadline for applications for Littleboy bursaries is at the end of October each year.
EfM is a course about living faithfully in the world and giving service to the Society and the wider world. We hope that a way can be found for those who want to take the course to do so and that no one is put off applying on financial grounds alone. If in doubt, please do talk to us about your circumstances.

  • If you have access or communications requirements, either in relation to the building or participation in the course, please let us know as soon as possible, preferably at least three weeks before your course. In our experience this gives us a better chance of meeting your requirements. We will try to meet all access and communications requests, but cannot guarantee provision. If there is anything in relation to your physical or emotional well-being that you would like the course tutors to be aware of, please let us know.
  • for example: your training, work, skills, interests and hobbies as well as some of your important experiences, your links with a Quaker Meeting or other religious group, and why you would like to come on this course.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY