Preparing people to be the Church of Tomorrow

If you have ever felt drawn to be more effective in the ministries you are already involved in or inspired to start something new in your community or just wanted to learn more about the Christian faith, but you just didn’t know where to start, diakonia may be a good fit for you.

Diakonia’s Call to Discipleship

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

— Matthew 28: 18-20 NIV

Diakonia Overview

When Jesus told his disciples, “Come, follow me,” (Mathew 4:19 NIV), it wasn’t simply a call for them to follow Jesus on the road. It was an invitation to life-long discipleship. That meant learning, listening, and sharing Jesus directly through his Word. In fact, the definition of disciple means follower or student.

Diakonia is a call to discipleship. The invitation is to live our lives for Christ, to commune with other Christians, and to undertake theological learning that will mature our understanding of the Word and carry that learning to others in love and service.

Begun by a Lutheran pastor to support the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Diakonia is offered to both ELCA members and others interested in learning more about their Christian faith. Currently active in 11 out of 65 ELCA synods, the program develops dynamic disciples by providing:

Rich, theological education
A deepened appreciation of the Bible – dynamic, living and transformational
Clarity in forms of grace-filled service
The Diakonia curriculum consists of twelve courses, with six courses offered each academic year. Each course has five weekly sessions that meet in three-hour increments. Weekly assignments and reading are designed to relate subject matter to the students’ context of life and ministry.

Tuition cost is $60/course, $360/year. Some synods may charge a small registration or graduation fee, offer retreats or other educational opportunities that may include additional fees. The cost for books for each course varies, but typically doesn’t exceed $30/course. Some synods offer scholarships for tuition. Your home congregation may offer some financial assistance as well. Check with your synod’s program for details.

More than a course of study, Diakonia is a chance to heed Christ’s call, to grow spiritually and to commit to a life-long spiritual journey spent on the road with our Lord.

Diakonia USA

Current Meeting Situation

In response to Covid-19 diakonia sites are currently meeting online through Zoom with some in-person classes based on location. Email us for details on your preferred location


The Diakonia Program gave us the opportunity to examine the broadened aspects of our faith, under the guidance of pastors as instructors, along with other classmates, with whom we shared, prayers, opinions, stories, lessons learned and our faith journeys.

The results of our experiences have deepened our daily devotional time, widened our ecumenical outlook and expanded our points of reference, giving us the gift of an awareness of the presence of God in our lives and the lives of others.

We are so appreciative of Diakonia and everyone who touched our lives through the program.

Scott & Connie Blackford

St. John Lutheran, Cardington

When I signed up for Diakonia classes, I had no expectations of where this program would lead me. I just wanted to know the Bible better. Through the teaching, the reading, the class discussions, the reflections I gained so much more than facts.

Diakonia developed and connected me to live in a deeper relationship with God. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Tanyce Addison

Good Hope Lutheran Church

Diakonia is an exciting, informative and eye-opening experience that has encouraged me to dig deeper into my own relationship with Christ.

I have been spiritually enlightened, not only from the knowledge gained but especially from the treasured relationships formed with the Pastors who taught and my fellow classmates whom God placed on my path to share this incredible journey with.

Penny Ward