A Walk to Emmaus weekend consists of Christian prayer, worship, reflection and small group discussion. Participants attend 15 talks with an emphasis on living a grace-filled life of discipleship after the weekend ends.
Christians who wish to attend a Walk in Emmaus weekend must apply in advance after they receive invitations from sponsors. Walk to Emmaus is open to Christians of any denomination who seek to deepen their spiritual lives and commitment to their churches. Men and women meet separately. The weekend program covers three days, typically Thursday to Sunday, after which participants keep in touch with each other by meeting in small groups. Walk to Emmaus encourages participants to become more active in their local churches and organizations, and it prepares Christians for taking on local leadership roles.
The Walk to Emmaus program was inspired by the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement in Spain, which dates to 1949 and sought to help laypeople develop their identities as Christians. The program was adopted by Protestant denominations, including The Upper Room, which began hosting Cursillo weekends in 1978. In 1981, The Upper Room revised the program's content and renamed it Walk to Emmaus. The Upper Room offers similar programs for youth under the name Chrysalis.