The diakonia™ Program is a two-year process of spiritual formation and theological education for baptized members of the Lutheran Church.

Diakonia in SEPA

Are you looking for a connection with God but haven’t found one?

Are you seeking to enter into loving intimacy and ever-deepening relationship with God?

Diakonia gives you time with God through prayer, a series of courses, and opportunities for practical ministry.

It is more than just a course of study, it is a chance to listen with your heart and soul too. It is an opportunity to grow spiritually.

The class sessions, workshops and retreats will give you an opportunity to meet with brothers and sisters in Christ to grow spiritually and learn about the good news of Jesus Christ.

Diakonia is a two-year education and faith formation program for laity. It emphasizes the vocation of all Christians to serve as Christ has served us.  This program is sponsored by the ELCA. www.diakoniausa.org/


Diakonia Program

Diakonia 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 relate subject matter to the student’s life and ministry (family, neighborhood, area of ministry), and give 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 congregation.

All courses are taught by pastors and/or lay professionals particularly skilled in that area of instruction or ministry.  diakonia courses  combine theological knowledge with practical skills. All students are encouraged to work at their own level of theological knowledge, academic training and experience in ministry.


  • Introduction to the New Testament.
  • Church History: The First 400 years.
  • Practical Ministry I: Biblical Images of the Life of the Church
  • Lutheran Creeds and Confessions
  • Practical Ministry II:  Visitation (Nursing   Homes, Hospital, Homebound, Terminally Ill)
  • The Daily Life of the Christian


  • Introduction to the Old Testament
  • Lutheran Faith in the American Context
  • Christian Doctrine
  • Christian Worship
  • Themes & Issues in Christian Ethics
  • Practical Ministry III: Communicating the Gospel

Some diakonia sites allow you to take one class at a time without committing to the two year program.

Diakonia emphasizes the baptismal vocation of all Christians to serve as did our Lord Jesus. Participants 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, liturgical leadership, action for social justice, evangelism, visitation, homebound, community organization, youth work, ministry, 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.


The diakonia program occurs:

  • 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 discipleship service in congregations and neighborhood ministries.


Diakonia Costs

  • Tuition: The annual tuition is $360.
  • Registration:  A non-refundable. Registration Fee of $25 is required at the beginning of each year in September.
  • Books:  Actual costs for books vary from course to course; the average is $25-30 per course.
  • Graduation Fee:  A $25 Graduation Fee is collected from graduating 2nd year students.
  • Retreats:  There is an annual PA diakonia retreat held every year. Attendance, while not required, is strongly recommended.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is available, plus we strongly encourage congregations to help support their lay leaders with the costs of this program. If you need Financial Aid simply request an application for it.


If you would like more information or an application for enrollment contact:


diakonia™ and the “Cross and Towel” logo are registered trademarks of The diakonia Program, Inc. Used with Permission.