Deacons and Diaconal Ministers

(Full Versions Below)


Deacons are ordained United Methodist clergy who lead the church in relating Christians to their ministries in the world through worship leadership, preaching, teaching, nurturing spiritual vitality and leading ministries of service, love, and justice. They may work primarily in congregations or they may work primarily in settings like hospitals, social-service agencies, mission agencies, schools, counseling centers, denominational agencies, and more. Learn more about how deacons serve and lead.

Diaconal ministers are United Methodist laypeople who lead in service ministries. The United Methodist Church no longer consecrates new diaconal ministers. However, many diaconal ministers are still in active service. If you are a diaconal minister, visit this section of the Board of Ordained Ministry Handbook for information on how you relate to the annual conference.

If you feel called by God to be a layperson in a ministry of love and justice, check out the office of home missioners & deaconesses.

20th Anniversary Resources

2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the United Methodist clergy deacon in full membership. Here are some resources to help you celebrate.

• 20th Anniversary Graphic (see above): Download the High Resolution JPEG & PDF.

• Celebration Poster (11” x 17”): Download the printer-ready poster.

20th anniversary video (two minutes).

20th anniversary video (twelve minutes).

Formation Event

Provisional member deacons are invited to a Formation Event at General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Oct. 26-28 in Nashville. Learn the history of the Christian diaconate, the significance of United Methodist ordination, and practice for your Board of Ordained Ministry interviews. Also, meet staff from Discipleship Ministries, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and United Methodist Communications—people who can be great resources for your ministry. Fee is $30 and covers the cost of housing at Scarritt-Bennett Center and meals. For a registration form, send a message to

Need More Information?

Connect with us via email or phone for any questions or concerns you might have. A full listing of staff is also available.

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