Ministry of a Deacon

What is a Deacon?

A deacon is an ordained leader in the Church, serving as a prophetic, insistent voice that calls the attention of the Church to the needs of the world.

The deacon serves as a bridge between Church and world, sending the people out at the end of the liturgy into the world to live out their baptismal ministry. Deacons bring the needs of the world to the attention of the Church. They make certain that the marginalized people in our society are remembered in the Prayers of the People. They organize outreach efforts in parishes. They raise questions: Why are people homeless and hungry? Why are our city streets places of danger for our young people? What can we do about it?

Deacons serve in parishes, most often the parishes that nominated them for ordination. However, they are not paid for their service there. They support themselves by work in the world.

The Rev. Sue Nebel, Deacon
Member of the Deacon Leadership Team


Deacon Discernment Packet, with resources for the individual and congregation. Compiled by the Leadership Team for the Diaconate and the Commission on Ministry.

Commission on Ministry, "What We're Looking for in a Deacon" downloadable in English and in Spanish.

Ormonde Plater, Many Servants: An Introduction to Deacons, (Cowley Publications: 2004).

James Monroe Barnett, The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order, (Trinity Press International: 1995).

John N. Collins, Deacons and the Church: Making Connections between Old and New (Morehouse Publishing: 2003).

Christine Hall, Ed., The Deacon’s Ministry (Gracewing Books: 1992).

Website for Association for Episcopal Deacons