Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod ELCA

The Diakonia Program is a two-year process of spiritual formation and theological education for baptized members of the Lutheran Church. This process occurs in three basic ways:

• By a thorough grounding in the classic seminary disciplines of practical, systematic, historical and Biblical theology;
• By identifying and encouraging particular skills in ministry;
• By providing spiritual growth through worship, retreats, and a supportive community of fellow students and instructors.

These are the tools Diakonia uses to help equip God’s people for service in parish and neighborhood ministries. The primary theme and focus of the Diakonia experience is found in this word of Scripture: “Let the one who would be great among you be your servant (diakonos).” Mark 10:43

Click Here To View the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Diakonia Page

What Is Diakonia’s Emphasis?


Diakonia emphasizes the baptismal vocation of all Christians to serve as did our Lord Jesus. Participants are usually already leaders in their churches, and have a high degree of commitment to the ministry of the Church. They want to deepen their life of faith and ground their baptismal commitment to serve in the scriptural, theological, liturgical and historical traditions of the church. They are committed to serve through the Church in a variety of ways: teaching, administration, liturgical leadership, action for social justice, evangelism, visitation of the sick, community organization, youth work, ministry among the elderly, and the like. In every way they seek, and are helped by Diakonia, to grow closer to the image and example of Christ the servant.

How is Diakonia Structured?


Diakonia is a two year course of study which consists of twelve courses – six courses each year. Each course is five weeks in length, meeting once a week for three hours each. Weekly assignments and readings reflect the twin purposes of relating subject matter to the student’s context of life and ministry (family, parish, neighborhood, area of ministry), and giving a solid background to the topic. Students work at their own level, and assignments reflect the understanding that students are already busy in their families, jobs and parish. Typically, students average approximately 2-3 hours of study per week in addition to class time.