Diaconal ministers are commissioned to carry out a ministry of education, service, and pastoral care. They are part of the one Order of Ministry in The United Church of Canada, sharing fully with those who are ordained. The word “diaconal” comes from the Greek word diakonia, which means service among others, and has it roots in the Christian scriptures.
Diaconal ministers seek to educate and enable all people, at various ages and stages of life, to work together toward a vision of justice and wholeness in the world. This ministry includes helping people to maintain relationships that are life-giving and sustain community. It is a ministry that requires the desire and ability to stand with the suffering and to work with them for healing, growth, dignity, and justice.
Prior to commissioning to diaconal ministry, a candidate must receive the testamur of The United Church of Canada from a theological school that has been granted the authority to issue a testamur on behalf of the church. As well, there must be assurance of transfer and settlement into a full- or part-time ministry personnel position.
Education for diaconal ministry is available through the Centre for Christian Studies* (a theological school recognized by The United Church of Canada), which is located in Winnipeg. The centre offers a community-based program consisting of four years of study while serving in a ministry setting.
Diaconal ministers serve in various capacities, such as in congregational ministry, in community development, as chaplains, in inner-city ministry, as overseas personnel, at lay education centres and theological schools, or in staff positions at presbytery/district, Conference, or General Council. Sometimes these ministries include worship and the sacraments. One significant aspect of this ministry is the cooperative “team” relationship that is central to the diaconal minister’s style and identity.
Further information is available from:Ministry Vocations
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