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Become a Deaconess

Become a Deaconess

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Deaconess Community!

Women become members of the Deaconess Community by first entering the Word and Service Roster of the ELCA or the Diaconal Minister Roster of the ELCIC.  Discernment and formation into the Deaconess Community happens during or after preparation for Word and Service/Diaconal Ministry.

The purpose of formation into the Deaconess Community of the ELCA, also serving the ELCIC, is to foster individual growth and community identity, deepen one’s relationship with God, and empower, equip and sustain women to serve and meet the needs of the world.  The Deaconess Community accompanies individuals through this formation process, mutually discerning and sharing gifts, strengths, and vulnerabilities with one another.  During formation, women will deepen their prayer and spiritual life, engage in the Community through worship, build relationships, participate in formal and informal events, and become acquainted with examples of inspiring ministries of both present and past deaconesses in the historic tradition. 

The basic components of the formation process for entrance into the Deaconess Community are (1) completion of our Diaconal Ministry J-term course, (2) participation in two Formation Events, and (3) attendance at one Deaconess Community Assembly. Throughout the process, candidates are accompanied by the Community as a whole and the Committee on Vocation and Education in particular.

If you would like more information about becoming a deaconess – our formation and ministries – please contact Sr. Noreen Stevens at Noreen.Stevens@elca.org.