ESR differs from many seminaries in our offering of ministry emphases. Residential students declare an emphasis that aligns with their interests and gifts. Elective courses within each emphasis help students build focused knowledge and skills that can be put into service in several areas, including pastoral care or ministry, peace and justice, Quaker ministry, religious leadership, spirituality, writing, teaching, and Unitarian Universalist Ministry.
Specialized coursework more fully prepares each student for vocational or lay ministry in the area where they are led. It empowers those who want to offer ministry in a range of non-church-related vocational fields – from education to social work to public service.