Superconducting microwave circuits incorporating nonlinear devices, such as Josephson junctions, are a leading platform for emerging quantum technologies. Increasing circuit complexity further requires efficient methods for the calculation and optimization of the spectrum, nonlinear interactions, and dissipation in multi-mode distributed quantum circuits. Here we present a method based on the energy-participation ratio (EPR) of a dissipative or nonlinear element in an electromagnetic mode. The EPR, a number between zero and one, quantifies how much of the mode energy is stored in each element. The EPRs obey universal constraints and are calculated from one electromagnetic-eigenmode simulation. They lead directly to the system quantum Hamiltonian and dissipative parameters. The method provides an intuitive and simple-to-use tool to quantize multi-junction circuits. We experimentally tested this method on a variety of Josephson circuits and demonstrated agreement within several percents for nonlinear couplings and modal Hamiltonian parameters, spanning five orders of magnitude in energy, across a dozen samples.