Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

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Lead on. We're with you.

For those who’ve heard God’s call to leadership, we’re here to make the journey with you, connecting you with what you need to flourish as difference-makers. That’s our commitment as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. GBHEM.

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Deacons and Diaconal Ministers

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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.

Provisional Member Deacon Formation

Provisional Member Deacon Formation

If you are a deacon in provisional membership, consider participating in General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's Formation Event. It's held during the even-numbered years. If your conference residency program focuses almost exclusively on elders, you'll find this helpful. Meet other deacons, reflect on the ministry of the diaconate in the United Methodist Church (UMC) and world, prepare for ordination interviews, and meet UMC agency staff who can provide resources for your ministry. Register here for the 2018 event.


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