Grand Canyon Synod

Diakonia program GCS – Lay School for Ministry is a program of education, training and experiential learning for members of congregations in the Grand Canyon Synod. The courses are open to all interested in deepening their understanding and being better equipped for service in their congregations and beyond.

Courses are taught or facilitated by clergy, professors and other leaders in their areas of expertise. We use a distributed hybrid model for education, combining local class room, distance, and on-line courses, as well as; an local internship mentor experiential learning program.

The new GCS – Lay School for Ministry – diakonia™ program joins 13 Synods of the E.L.C.A. in a 40 year old educational network that exists to equip and support Lay Leaders for ministry in word and service in the context of their community, congregation and the world.

The 2 year Certificate leads to the office of Lay Diaconal Minister.  Lay Diaconal Ministers Preach…..Teach….and Reach out into the Community doing the work of the church.

There are no prerequisites for those attending classes. The cost for courses is $60.00 per course – $360 per year. Books and other materials will not exceed $30.00 per course.

Course schedule, class, location and dates is available to view at

The course are offered at four communities, Las Vegas NV, Phoenix, AZ , Rio Salado, AZ , and Tucson, AZ


(The GCS is not able to offer online ZOOM courses at this time; we apologize for advertising earlier this was possible)

Click Here To View The Grand Canyon Synod Diakonia Page


A1 New Testament: An Introduction
An exploration of the themes, theologies and historical contexts of the gospels, letters, and other New Testament books.

A2 Church History: The First 200 Years
An exploration of the life of the church from the first century to the development of the church in North America.

A3 Practicing Ministry I: Biblical Images of the Life of the Church
A study of the ongoing work of preaching, teaching, counseling, worship, social ministry carried out by the church. Discerning our gifts.

A4 The Lutheran Creeds and Confession
A study of the Book of Concord, important Lutheran documents and the historic creeds.

A5 Practicing Ministry II: Visitation
A course in reaching out to those hospitalized, grieving, suffering job loss, or otherwise vulnerable and hurting.

A6 The Daily Life of the Christian
An exploration of what it means to be a disciple in daily life and to be led by the Spirit.


B1  Old Testament: An Introduction
A general introduction to the books of Hebrew Scriptures – backgrounds, contents, and messages.

B2 Christian Doctrine
A study of the traditional doctrines and dogma of the Christian church.

B3 Faith in the American Context
An exploration of the history of the Lutheran church in America over the last 385 years.

B4 Practicing Ministry III: Communicating the Gospel
A course in the preparation of sermons and other oral presentations as well as for strengthening preaching skills, and at various teaching methods and how to share the gospel in classroom situations.

B5 Christian Worship
A study of major worship principles, styles, with resources for planning services, including some training in worship leadership.

B6 Christian Ethics: Themes and Issues in Christian Ethics
An overview of how Christians make moral choices; learning how to apply choices to personal and professional issues.

View Diakonia Brochure Here