Bishop of Banja Luka Jefrem (Milutinović) was born on April 15 1944 in the village of Busnovi near city of Prijedor, today in Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Elementary and high school he finished in his native village and in nearby town of Sanski Most. He became a monk in the Monastery of Liplje on July 9 1967. Bishop Jefrem finished studies at the Theological Seminary in the Monastery of Krka in Dalmatia in 1971 and at the Theological Academy in Moscow in 1975.Bishop Jefrem graduated on the Academy in Moscow with work The Teaching of Saint Basil the Great on Monasticism and earned title “Candidate of Theology”. He was ordained as hierodeacon by Bishop of Banja Luka Andrej on January 14 1968 and as hieromonk on Pentecost, July 14 1970, both in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Banja Luka.
Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church appointed him 1975 as teacher at the “The Holy Three Hierarchs” Theological Seminary at Krka Monastery. In the course of time, Bishop Jefrem resumed duty of Seminary’s main tutor as well. Hieromonk Jefrem was elected for Vicarius Bishop of Moravice on June 1 1978 and ordained on September 17 same year. For Bishop of Banja Luka he was elected in May 1980 and on June 1 his enthronement took place.