Call to Diaconal Vocation

We now intend to reopen diaconal discernment in the diocese. The following notes are meant to display the distinctiveness of the diaconal order as it is worked out in a practical way.  We are making progress in finding examples of this understanding, e.g. among those with PTSD, the homeless, the incarcerated, etc.

  1. Deacons have, first of all, responsibility to be servants to those in greatest need, to encourage others to serve them too, and so to be a model for Church which imitates its Lord in His lowliness. Deacons should demonstrably serve the least and the lost.
  2. Deacons in addition have responsibilities in the liturgy, teaching, and in pastoral care.
  3. Deacons in our polity also have a share in the councils of the Church. For this reason, they need a theological education preparing them for this ministry. For this reason, diaconal candidates complete the new, streamlined, two-year Stanton diploma, followed by a one-year, online, ATS accredited diploma program through Wycliffe, Trinity in Ambridge, PA or an equivalent program.
  4. Diaconal candidates will need to complete these requirements with enough time and energy for them to fulfill their ministry.
  5. Deacons should have a faith consistent with our Prayer Book tradition as defined in our pathways documents. Prospective deacons should consult this document in all its details.
  6. Deacons should understand themselves as serving according to the direction and placement of the bishop.


The Rt. Rev. George R. Sumner

Bishop, Diocese of Dallas