Summer Term 2020
This course is designed to explore the ministry of the vocational diaconate and how it has grown and shifted (or failed to shift) to meet the needs of the Church through the ages. The course will examine the biblical perspective on servant-hood; trace the development of the diaconate throughout the history of the Church; explore the writings and lives of a few notable deacons; and examine the emerging role of the diaconate in the contemporary Church. This course will explore the broad range of diaconal ministries and encourage students to think theologically about holy orders and how the threefold orders of the Church relate to one another and reflect the ministry of Christ.
Note: This course is a tiered course for both Master’s level and Certificate level (CDS) students. We will be working together, but there are different requirements for each level, spelled out below.
At the conclusion of this course the student will:
●Have wrestled with and come to a clearer understanding of the nature of the diaconate in the church today.
●Recognize and be able to articulate the nature of the Deacon’s orders including the deacon’s authority, relationship to the other two orders of ministry and diaconal ontology.
●Be acquainted with the historical role of the deacon in the development of the church and a number of notable deacons who served in each primary period of Church history.
●Interpret the deacon’s ministry in light of both Scripture and Christian tradition.
These objectives are included within the broad Ministry Learning Objectives of Trinity School for Ministry, included here:
1. The student will recognize and identify the biblical theology evident in the coursework.
2. The student will be able to articulate an Anglican or Lutheran understanding of biblical, historical, systematic, and pastoral theology, depending on program.
3. The student will be able to communicate effectively the Christian message to diversity of people in order to advance the mission of God.
4. Where appropriate, the student will be able to articulate connections between their ministry context (parish, para-church, etc.) and the course material.
1. The student will recognize and identify the biblical theology evident in the course work.
2. The student will be able to articulate an Anglican understanding of biblical,historical, systematic, and pastoral theology. Students of other traditions,especially those in the Lutheran and Presbyterian programs, should be able to articulate the theological perspective of their own tradition.
3. The student will be able to effectively communicate the Christian message to a diversity of people in order to advance the mission of God.
4. The student will be prepared to effectively lead in a variety of Christian communities.
MDiv: The student will be prepared to effectively lead in a variety of Christian communities.
Where appropriate, the student will be able to articulate connections between their ministry context (parish, para-church, etc.) and the course material.
The student will be able to articulate engagement in their spiritual formation through the coursework, as explicated by the Student Formation paradigm.MAR: The student will be equipped to apply scholarship to the life of the church in his other chosen theological discipline.
STM: The student will be equipped to successfully pursue further independent research and post-graduate study in his or her chosen theological discipline.
Required Texts for All Students
Cummings, Owen (et al) Theology of the Diaconate: the state of the question. (New York City, Paulist Press. 2005)
● Hall, Christine (ed) The Deacon’s Ministry. (Leominster, Gracewing. 1992)
● Keating, James. Heart of the Diaconate. (New York City, Paulist Press, 2015)
● Keating, James. Deacon Reader. (New York City, Paulist Press, 2006)
● Sumner, George. Being Salt. (Eugene OR, Cascade Books, 2007)
● Book of Common Prayer
● The Bible
Masters Students only
● Collins, John N. Deacons and the Church: Making Connections Between Old and New. (Harrisburg, Morehouse Press, 2002)
●Young, Francis. Inferior Office?: A History of Deacons in the Church of England (Cambridge, James Clarke & Co, 2015)
Course Requirements All Students:
●4 Brief research papers (approximately 3-5 pages each for CDS students, 5-8 pages for Masters and DMin students) on historical deacons in each major period of Church history(Biblical, Patristic, Medieval, and Reformation). Successful papers will reflect an understanding of the deacon’s life and ministry in the context of the needs of the church in that era. (Each paper accounts for 10% of the student’s final grade, 15% for CDS students.)