Deacon Education

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. 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 4701 Park Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. "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 Kathleen Kilbourne, Director, Center for Deacon Education and Director, Master of Arts in Practical Theology at Pfeiffer University, at kathleen.kilbourne@pfeiffer.edu or 704-945-7315. 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.

Upcoming Courses

Fall 2012
Survey of the Old Testament (3)
16 week format, Mon. 6-9 pm

History of the Christian Church (3)
16 week format, Thur. 6-9

January 2013
United Methodist Church Polity (2)
Jan 7-11, 9:30 – 4:30 pm

Spring 2013
Survey of the New Testament (3)
16 weeks, Mon, 6-9 pm & Adobe Connect

Systematic Theology for Contemp. Church (3)
16 weeks, Mon 6-9

Summer 2013                                  
Christian Mission and Globalization in an Interfaith World (3)
May 16-18 & 23-25 time TBA                  

Fall 2013
Survey of the Old Testament (3)
16 weeks, Mon, 6-9 pm

Christian Worship (3)
3 weekend format, TBD

January 2014          
History & Doctrine in Methodist Tradition (4),
Jan  Intensive

Spring 2014
Survey of the New Testament (3)
16 week format, TBA

Systematic Theology for Contemp. Church (3)
16 week format

Summer 2014
Evangelism in the Contemporary Church & World (3)
Summer Schedule, TBA

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