History

The Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center (AMERC) was founded in 1985 by Dr. Mary Lee Daugherty. AMERC enables the training of persons for Christian leadership in Appalachia and similar rural and urban settings through funding, resourcing and consultation. Prior to 2000, AMERC conducted travel seminars and summer courses based out of its office in Berea, Kentucky. Courses are now organized by AMERC consortium member schools who receive grant funding from AMERC. Seminars sponsored by AMERC have focused on issues such as small church pastoring, religious and social contexts of Appalachia, economic systems of rural America, community development, and living in healthy balance with the land.

AMERC is the largest consortial effort in the history of theological education in the United States. Students in AMERC-sponsored courses have represented 52 denominations, including Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox Christians. Over 2,300 students have received training through AMERC programs or funding. The ecumenical emphasis of AMERC has been and continues to be critical to its success.