It is estimated that over half a million persons have experienced a Walk to Emmaus weekend and today the Movement counts more than 300 communities distributed all over the United States as well as in Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominicana, England, Estonia, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland and Trinidad And Tobago.
Further to the open-mindedness shown by Catholic cursillistas from the South of the United States, more and more Protestant candidates participated in Cursillo weekends. In 1977, some members of the Upper Room (the group responsible for the revival within the United Methodist Church ) participated in a Cursillo in Miami. The following year, the Upper Room set up its own Cursillo in Nashville, Tennessee.
With the impulse of the Upper Room, the Methodist Cursillo movement growed extensively. Although connected to The United Methodist Church, it became largely accessible to Christians from different denominations.
In 1981, further to a mutual agreement between the Methodist Church and the National Secretariat of Catholic Cursillo of the United States, it was decided to separate both Movements and the ecumenical Methodist Cursillo changed its name for Walk to Emmaus. However, as can be seen on the web, the name Methodist Cursillo still prevails in some area (such as Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi).
Beside this ecumenical aspect, Walk to Emmaus and the original Cursillos de Cristiandad are much alike. As can be seen by this description excerpted from the Upper Room website:
"The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by lay and clergy on the themes of God's grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is wrapped in prayer and meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Holy Communion. The "Emmaus community," made up of those who have attended an Emmaus weekend, support the 72-hour experience with a prayer vigil, by preparing and serving meals, and other acts of love and self-giving. The Emmaus Walk typically begins Thursday evening and concludes Sunday evening. Men and women attend separate weekends.
During and after the three days, Emmaus leaders encourage participants to meet regularly in small groups. The members of the small groups challenge and support one another in faithful living. Participants seek to Christianize their environments of family, job, and community through the ministry of their congregations. The three-day Emmaus experience and follow-up groups strengthen and renew Christian people as disciples of Jesus Christ and as active members of the body of Christ in mission to the world."
For more information, see Walk to Emmaus websites.