Diakonia Program Overview

Diakonia’s Call to Discipleship

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

— Matthew 28: 18-20 NIV

When Jesus told his disciples, “Come, follow me,” (Mathew 4:19 NIV), it wasn’t simply a call for them to follow Jesus on the road. It was an invitation to life-long discipleship. That meant learning, listening, and sharing Jesus directly through his Word. In fact, the definition of disciple means follower or student.

Diakonia is a call to discipleship. The invitation is to live our lives for Christ, to commune with other Christians, and to undertake theological learning that will mature our understanding of the Word and carry that learning to others in love and service.

Begun by a Lutheran pastor to support the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Diakonia is offered to both ELCA members and others interested in learning more about their Christian faith. Currently active in 11 out of 65 ELCA synods, the program develops dynamic disciples by providing:

  • Rich, theological education
  • A deepened appreciation of the Bible – dynamic, living and transformational
  • Clarity in forms of grace-filled service

The Diakonia curriculum consists of twelve courses, with six courses offered each academic year. Each course has five weekly sessions that meet in three-hour increments. Weekly assignments and reading are designed to relate subject matter to the students’ context of life and ministry. (during the time of covid, all courses are being held via the ZOOM app and students may participate in courses anywhere in the country; pick the time that works for you!)

Tuition cost is $60/course, $360/year.  Some synods may charge a small registration or graduation fee, offer retreats or other educational opportunities that may include additional fees.  The cost for books for each course varies, but typically doesn’t exceed $30/course.  Some synods offer scholarships for tuition. Your home congregation may be able to offer some financial assistance as well.

More than a course of study, Diakonia is a chance to heed Christ’s call, to grow spiritually and to commit to a life-long spiritual journey spent on the road with our Lord.

To review the Diakonia curriculum, click here.