- The Program
The School for Deacons is an educational institution of the Diocese of California under the general oversight of its Bishop. The mission of the School is to provide a pre-eminent program for the education and formation of deacons in the Episcopal Church.
The diaconate, as a distinctive order, recalls to the Church, the Body of Christ, that Jesus Christ came to serve, and that the Church has a servant identity. Ordained deacons personify, sacramentalize and enable the ministry of service to which all Christians are called at baptism. The diaconate was the first order to be instituted by the Church (The Acts of the Apostles). A deacon is instructed (in the Service for Ordination of Deacons in The Book of Common Prayer), to “serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely. . . to make Christ and his redemptive love known by your word and example, . . . to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world . . . to assist the bishop and priest in public worship and in the ministration of God's Word and Sacraments."
The curriculum is designed to provide an academic foundation in biblical, historical and theological studies; specific pastoral and liturgical skills; and experience that will permit the future deacon to function effectively in both parish and social ministry. A Bachelor of Diaconal Studies degree is awarded upon successful completion of all requirements of a three-year course of study.
Courses at the School for Deacons are open to individuals wishing to deepen their theological awareness, or who wish to prepare for lay ministry. However, because the primary mission of the School is to prepare deacons, all courses are taught to emphasize the diaconal calling of the Church. The School also provides continuing education opportunities for its graduates.
The School actively seeks students for the diaconate and for lay ministry preparation from all the dioceses in northern California. Currently we have students from the dioceses of California, El Camino Real, Northern California, and San Joaquin.