[embed]https://form.jotform.com/form/73345626758164[/embed] [embed]https://form.jotform.com/form/73345626758164[/embed]

January 7-12, 2024

Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, Carefree, AZ

Diaconal Ministry: History, Formation, and Spirituality Servant leadership, Word and Service, and diaconal ministry are all synonyms for the ancient Greek word, diakonia, the call of Christ to serve others for the sake of the gospel. We invite you to accompany others interested in learning more through our January seminary elective course.

The Course:

  • Introduces students to the historical, theological, and social contexts in which the work of diaconal ministry has been expressed through the church’s history.
  • Provides a particular focus on ways in which that history continues to impact the present.
  • The course provides significant opportunity for the development of spiritual disciplines and vocational discernment.
  • This course meets the formation requirements for those entering the Word and Service Roster.
  • Pre-work is required.

Course Goals:

  • To present a theological grounding for discernment.
  • To learn about the ministry of Word and Service throughout the Church’s history.
  • To experience and talk about intentional community.


  • Susan Wilds McArver is the H. George Anderson Professor of Church History at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Dr. McArver has been involved in the education of diaconal ministers and deaconesses for over 20 years.
  • The Rev. Gary Dreier has over 25 years of ministry experience as a spiritual director, congregational pastor and campus pastor. Pastor Dreier will lead the class in exploring and participating in spiritual practices.

This course is offered through Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and available for cross registration for all ELCA Seminary students.  It is also open to non-degree students. For further information please contact Sister Noreen Stevens at Noreen.Stevens@elca.org, 651-815-1145.