In The United Methodist Church, the Order of Deacon leads the congregation in its servant ministry and equips and supports all baptized Christians in their ministries alongside the Order of Elder. Students who feel called to the Order of the Deacon are called to word, service, compassion and justice. Most deacon candidates enter Wesley through the Master of Arts program, although some may complete the Master of Divinity.
In addition, Wesley has partnered with several schools in the northeast to assist those seeking ordination as a deacon in areas where there are no accessible United Methodist seminaries. Please explore the links below to learn more or contact the admissions office at 202-885-8659
20th Anniversary of the Order of Deacon Video
Wesley is pleased to share this video by WNC Deacon Chair, Rev. Michelle Foster-Beckerleg. Not only marking the 20th Anniversary of the Order of Deacon, this video celebrates the Pfeiffer-Wesley partnership, featuring our deacon graduates who are fulfilling their call to Connect the Church and the World through ministries focused on Word, Serve, Justice and Compassion.
To provide Deacon education and ordination for people of The United Methodist Church in the Southeast Jurisdiction, Pfeiffer University in partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., have joined together to establish a Center for Deacon Education – a unique program that completely focuses on Deacon ordination for certified candidates within the UMC.
The Center is housed on Pfeiffer's Charlotte campus at 1515 Mockingbird Ln, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28209. "We believe the ministry of Deacon is a growing vocational calling in the life of our churches," said Dr. Bruce C. Birch, Dean Emeritus of Wesley Theological Seminary. "We are committed to high quality preparation for those ordained to minister as Deacons."
All of the Basic Graduate Theological Studies courses required for ordination as a Deacon will be offered by the Center in a two-year cycle. These include courses in Old and New Testaments, Church History, Worship, Theology, Mission of the Church in the World, Evangelism, and a sequence of Methodist Studies courses in Polity, History and Doctrine. The program enables persons to complete these requirements for probationary membership and ordination as a Deacon without making life-changing alterations to their work schedule and other responsibilities. Courses are taught during the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as during intensive January and May terms, at the Pfeiffer campuses in North Carolina.
Wesley and Pfeiffer are exploring ways to form and educate the Order of Deacon outside the classroom experience. Courses offered through the Center for Deacon Education are specifically designed to prepare persons for ministry as Deacons. As fully admitted Wesley students, Deacon candidates at Pfeiffer are also permitted to take any course in the curriculum at Wesley in Washington, D.C. to supplement the specific BGTS course curriculum.
For additional information or to register for classes, contact Rev. Kathleen Kilbourne, Academic Advisor to UM Students, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-367-8933. Those with questions about the partnership, academics or theoretical issues should contact the Office of Admissions at Wesley Theological Seminary or 202-885-8659. To view the projected course schedule please visit the Center for Deacon Education.