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. In 2020, Emmaus International adjusted their brand to Emmaus Worldwide.

Emmaus Worldwide now administers two major areas: The correspondence school and a variety of book & resource publication activities. With the correspondence school now over 75 years old, the Lord continues to bless. Over 45 million courses have been distributed worldwide! 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."



  • The Bible is inspired of God, inerrant in the original documents and of final authority in all matters of faith and practice (2nd Timothy 3:16).


  • There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-19; 2nd Corinthians 13:14).


  • 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 (John1:1, 14, 18; 1st Peter 1:19; Ephesians 1:19-21; Hebrews 4:15-16; 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20-22).


  • Each member of the human race is fallen, sinful, and lost. People must be born again through faith by the work of the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. Redemption is wholly by the blood of Christ, and salvation is by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:9-26; John 3:5-8, 16).


  • The Holy Spirit indwells the believer, who is thus empowered to live a godly life (Romans 8:1-17).


  • 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 (Revelation 20:11-15).


  • 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 (Acts 2; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1st Peter 2:9-12).


  • 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" (Ephesians 4:12).


  • 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 (Romans 6:1-4). The Lord's Supper is a memorial feast, instituted by the Lord Himself exclusively for His own (1st Corinthians 11:23-28).


  • 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 (John 10:27-30; 1st Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 1:13-14).


  • The personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ to translate His Church will be followed by the Tribulation and the inauguration of Christ’s reign over the earth; He will then deliver up the Kingdom to God, the Father, that the Triune God may be all in all (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-22; 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 6:1-20:3).