In 1938 the Lord gave Ed Harlow, a young missionary in the Belgian Congo, a desire to establish a Bible school in North America. Shortly after, Harlow left his mission station and traveled to Toronto, Canada where, in 1941, he (along with John Smart and Ernest Tatham) founded Emmaus Bible School. During the first year of classes, 144 students enrolled to study God's Word.
After that first year it became obvious that many other people wanted to learn from the solid Bible teaching that Emmaus Bible School offered. However not everyone could attend the school in Toronto. So the Lord led Harlow and Smart to create correspondence courses from the material being taught at Emmaus. The first three titles offered were Doctrine, The New Testament, and Child Study.
Within a few months, 137 students (from Alberta to New Jersey) were reading and studying the Bible lessons. The Correspondence school continued to grow, and by 1948 there were 17 titles available with over 2,000 courses distributed.
In 1949, two developments significantly expanded the correspondence ministry. First, William MacDonald recognized the opportunity of reaching the lost by using the study courses. This led to the writing of What the Bible Teaches, which provides instruction about the basic truths of the Gospel. The second development was the idea of Cyril Brooks (a missionary in the Philippines) to broadcast sections of What the Bible Teaches over the radio, and then to offer the full printed course free to anyone who requested it. This free-offer promotion launched the overseas correspondence ministry.
The Lord continued to bless and ECS grew through the 50's and into the 60's. By 1965 there were more than 35 titles available, 3 million courses had been distributed worldwide, and 80 languages had at least one course in print.
But it didn't stop there. In 1977, William MacDonald wrote Born to Win. This course (specifically written to address issues relating to prison inmates) was an instrumental tool that brought about a tremendous time of growth in the prison ministry during the 1980's.
Emmaus Correspondence School (which had always been a part of Emmaus Bible College) became an independent organization in 2002 called ECS Ministries. In 2017 ECS Ministries rebranded to Emmaus International.
Emmaus International now administers three major areas: The correspondence school, LIT Discipleship, and a variety of book & resources publication activities. With the correspondence school now 75 years old, the Lord continues to bless. Over 40 million courses have been distributed! Our goal is to help men, women, and children understand the Gospel message and grow in their faith. This is accomplished by bringing "the Word to the world."
“That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28)
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Our story is Emmaus. Our impact is international. We are Emmaus International.
Emmaus International exists to glorify God by providing biblically-sound resources and structured study materials for the purpose of teaching people from every nation to know Jesus Christ as Savior and to live in a way that is consistent with God’s Word.
Emmaus International’s vision is to see hearts and lives transformed for Christ through the study of God’s word.
Emmaus Correspondence School’s classic Emmaus Courses have been used for the last 75 years and are available in over 100 languages. The best way to study through the courses is with the Emmaus Road curriculum.
You can become an official Emmaus Connector, partnering with Emmaus Correspondence School. As an Emmaus Connector, you will get a major discount and helpful resources when you facilitate systematic Bible study using the Emmaus Courses in your local church.
The second branch of Emmaus International contains a number of books on how to live out God’s Word in practical ways. It also includes resources such as the Truth & Praise hymnals and the Assembly Address Book.
The newest branch of Emmaus International is LIT (Life in Truth) Discipleship. We believe that discipleship is truth of God’s Word transferred through the living of life in relationship with others. LIT Discipleship events happen throughout the year across the country. All events allow time for participants to brainstorm how they can apply discipleship principles in their local church context.
We exist to partner with and be a resource to the local church. The church is God’s inspired design to live out the gospel in community. Please feel free to contact us to learn more and find out how to get involved.