History & Statement of Faith

HISTORY

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."

MISSION VERSE

“That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28)

STATEMENT OF FAITH

  1. The Bible is inspired of God, inerrant in the original documents and of final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
  2. There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was born of a virgin and is sinlessly perfect. His sacrifice is substitutionary and representative. He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His Father’s right hand, where He now ministers as our Great High Priest. He will come to rapture His Church and subsequently return to reign over the earth.
  4. Each member of the human race is fallen, sinful, and lost, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man. Redemption is wholly by the blood of Christ, and salvation is by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  5. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer, who is thus empowered to live a godly life.
  6. There will be a resurrection of the saved and of the lost, of the saved unto eternal life, and of the lost unto eternal and conscious judgment.
  7. The Church began with the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and is composed of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. These believers are united to Him and to one another by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Church’s calling, hope, and destiny are heavenly, and its chief functions are to glorify God and to witness for Christ until His return.
  8. Christ, the risen Head, is the Giver of spiritual gifts to all believers. Gifted individuals such as evangelists, pastors and teachers, are responsible to Him for their service, and they are given "for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ."
  9. There are two Christian ordinances, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism by immersion signifies that the believer, having died with Christ, is buried with Him in baptism and also is risen with Christ to walk in newness of life. The Lord's Supper is a memorial feast, instituted by the Lord Himself exclusively for His own.
  10. Every true child of God possesses eternal life and being justified, sanctified, and sealed with the Holy Spirit, is safe and secure for all eternity.
  11. The personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Our story is Emmaus. Our impact is international. We are Emmaus International.

MISSION STATEMENT

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. 

VISION

Emmaus International’s vision is to see hearts and lives transformed for Christ through the study of God’s word.

This is accomplished by the three main branches of Emmaus International: Emmaus Correspondence School, Books & Resources, and LIT Discipleship.

Emmaus Correspondence School

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.

Books & Resources

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.

LIT Discipleship

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.

Spark is a 44-hour experience to inspire discipleship. Please let us know if you would like a Spark in your area.

Light is a 4-day event to ignite Christ-followers. This is held in Dubuque, Iowa, at Emmaus International’s headquarters.

Blaze is a 3-week discipleship program to walk in discipleship with the Emmaus International staff; some sessions include a cross-cultural mission trip.  

 

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.

 

 

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