1.  Is God Calling You? (Phase I)

This phase includes initial contact between the applicant, the diaconal community, and the LDA.  If you are ready to discern your call to diaconal ministry and to this community, this an opportunity to assess your attitudes, skills and knowledge, and to determine the LDA's resources for working with you.  

Initial inquiry.  Contact the Director of Education/Formation. Consider a time frame for your admission process. Ask for a discernment guide and other information.  Most applicants need 3 to 12 months for discernment and application.  

Discernment process.  Use the discernment guide to help you reflect and pray about your direction. 

Meet several members of the LDA's diaconate. We hope you will meet several LDA deaconesses or deacons.  Members of the diaconal communities can help you discern whether this form of ministry -- and this diaconate -- might be a good fit for you.  Further, the application requires a reference from a consecrated member of the LDA's diaconate.  Please contact the Director of Education/Formation to help make a connection.

Admission packet.  Ask the Director of Education/Formation to begin an application folder as you submit your materials.  Paper copies are fine, but we welcome (and prefer) application material via e-mail.
    A.    Application:

  • personal data
  • reflection essays
  • self-care history
    B.    Vocational and Psychological assessment. At your expense, you will arrange to take a specific battery of tests with a licensed psychologist who will send a report directly to the LDA. Psychological reports are kept confidential for use by the LDA Admission Committee to determine acceptance into the process. Start early!  This step can take several weeks.  Contact LDA for more information about tests and possible providers.

    C.    References: (All 5 references should be sent directly to the LDA, Director of Education/Formation.)
  • Congregation in which you are a member.
  • Pastor of the congregation in which you are a member.  (If your pastor is  also a member of your family, add an additional reference from someone in public ministry.)
  • Two people who know you well. (Consider getting a reference from someone who knows about your academic ability, your work experience, or your volunteer activities.  No family members, please.)
  • LDA deaconess or deacon. 
    D.  Application fee.  Application fee of $25 due at time of application.  Checks may be made payable to “LDA.

Review of admission portfolio.  The LDA Admission Committee will review the submitted materials to consider your readiness for an interview. 

Admission interview.  Upon recommendation by the Admission Committee, the Director of Education/Formation will contact you to arrange an interview.  The Director of Education/Formation is the primary interviewer, but others may be determined by the committee.  Interviews are typically held at the Center for Diaconal Ministry. You will be notified with the results of the interview within two weeks.

Acceptance.  Students who are accepted will begin the process by attending a week-long seminar in Valparaiso.  Students are expected to attend the annual seminars and the Annual Meeting of either the Lutheran Deaconess Conference or the Community of Lutheran Deacons each year during their education and formation.