Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

pair of worn boots
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.

Main menu


Appointed to Serve

Deacons are appointed to their places of ministry by the bishop of their episcopal area. Their appointment may be initiated by the bishop, the district superintendent, the deacon, or the agency requesting the service of the deacon (full or provisional member). While deacons must have an appointment, they do not itinerate. They usually identify their location of service and request from the bishop appointment to that setting.

Deacons may be appointed to serve as their primary field of service:

  • agencies and settings beyond the local church, including ecumenical agencies, that extend the witness and service of Christ’s love and justice in the world and connect the church with the most needy, neglected, and marginalized
  • United Methodist-related agencies, schools, colleges, theological schools, and within connectional structures of the denomination
  • congregations, charges, or cooperative parishes, where they participate in leading the congregation's mission to the world and equipping all Christians to fulfill their calls to Christian service.

Read some specific examples of deacon ministries.

When deacons serve in an agency or setting beyond the local church, the bishop, after consultation with the deacon and the pastor in charge, shall appoint the deacon to a congregation where they will take missional responsibility for leading other Christians into ministries of service (a “secondary” appointment). Usually, the deacon and lead elder will converse in advance about how their ministry partnership will operate in that setting, the deacon will request the appointment of the bishop, and the deacon and lead elder will develop a covenant of understanding with the congregation’s Staff/Pastor-Parish Relationships Committee.

Tax Information for Deacons

Deacons may file taxes as clergy. General Council on Finance and Administration has some resources here. Please consult with your own professional tax adviser.

Diaconal Congregations

The United Methodists of Norway have a diaconal plan, through which they urge their churches to engage in intentional justice and compassion ministries and to link this ministry to worship. They also aim to develop more positions for deacon leadership. Read more about their plan.

Grants for Ministry

Emerging Ministry Grants support deacons' and diaconal ministers' new ministries of peace and justice to the community. Contact the Deacons & Diaconal Ministers office for an application and funding criteria. Deadline for application is July 15.

Diaconia Graduate Fellowship

Grants up to $5,000 are available to United Methodist deacons in full connection and provisional member deacons who have completed one year of provisional membership, or diaconal ministers. Applicant must be a full-time doctoral student (preferably Ph.D.) during the time of the first award period in an accredited academic institution and plan to serve in positions appropriate for the ordained deacon. Learn more about this scholarship.

Meet Other Deacons

Deacons are leading people into compassion and justice ministries through a broad variety of ministries. Learn more about them by visiting this Pinterest page that gathers Deacon Ministry Stories.




Need More Information?

Connect with us via email or phone for any questions or concerns you might have.

 Twitter logo