Diaconal Ministry: History, Formation and Spirituality
January 6-12, 2019


 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 elective course.

Dates and Location:
January 6-12, 2019
Morning and afternoon classes will be held Monday-Friday. J-term is held at Spirit in the Desert, Carefree AZ. In addition, the class includes an online component.

This Course:

  1. Introduces the historical, theological and social contexts of diaconal (Word and Service) ministry throughout history.
  2. Provides opportunity for discussion on vocation and diaconal calling.
  3. Affirms and encourages recognition of the importance and knowledge of the Lutheran Confessions as theologically and spiritually foundational writings.
  4. Awards three hours of academic credit.

Course Goals:

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

*There may be the opportunity to take this course as an Independent Study undergraduate course in partnership
with your college/university.

The course will be offered through Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Tuition for all participants will be paid by the Deaconess Community of the ELCA. The cost of books and housing are the responsibility of each student.


The housing/meal cost for Sunday dinner – Saturday breakfast is $600. All rooms are double occupancy. Some single rooms may be available. If you will need housing, please contact the Deaconess Community at Deaconess.Community@elca.org.


Our Instructors:

Dr. Susan W. McArver is a Professor of Church History and Educational Ministry at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Dr. McArver has been involved in the education of diaconal ministers and deaconesses for 19 years.


Dr. Dirk Lange is an Associate Professor of Worship at Luther Seminary. Dr. Lange is an ordained pastor of the ELCA and teaches Lutheran spirituality out of his experience as a brother of an ecumenical religious community.


Deaconess Community representatives are in residence as resource staff during the on-site component of the course.


Registration will open in October. For further information in regards to travel and housing please contact Sr. Liz Colver.