M.A. in Deaconess Studies
Many women already serve in roles that involve diakonal work and aspects of spiritual care, without having had formal theological training at the graduate level. Full-time study at a post-graduate institution is often not an option for these women, due to their family and work commitments. Concordia Theological Seminary is now providing an alternate route for these women to study and obtain a Master of Arts in Deaconess Studies. The program will be delivered through a combination of distance learning via electronic means and on-campus intensives.
Innovative methods are used to teach courses online. Rather than simply seeking to duplicate the traditional classroom online, course creators seek creative ways to teach the Deaconess student the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need for diakonal work in their specific context. Students also have opportunities to interact with faculty and fellow students and take part in campus activities through twice yearly, two-week seminars held on campus.
The full-time degree can be completed in 2 ½ years, but students may opt to take courses on a part-time basis. Full-time students take two on-line courses in each of the Fall and Spring quarters, and two, 2-week intensives in each of the Winter and Summer quarters. All students also participate in Fieldwork.
The current curriculum includes a rigorous program of theological study, together with training in practical, diakonal skills. It has been structured to take into account the experience and workload of the students.
Deaconess certification is endorsed by the faculty for students who fulfill the program requirements for the M.A. in Deaconess Studies and who display dedication and readiness for service as a deaconess. Students who receive the M.A. in Deaconess Studies degree will ordinarily remain in the positions in which they have been working throughout their studies.