Diaconal Training

Do you feel called to diaconal ministry? Students with a Diploma in Diaconal Ministries from the Centre for Christian Studies are eligible to be considered for commissioning as diaconal ministers in the United Church of Canada or ordained as deacons in the Anglican Church of Canada.

CCS’s 4-year Diploma in Diaconal Ministries: Studies in Transformation and Action is an intensive community-based program which enables students to remain in their resident location while completing the requirements for diaconal or lay ministry.

To earn a Diploma in Diaconal Ministries you will need to complete the following:

Educational Ministry Year students


There are three main components to the 4-year diploma program:

  • Learning circles
  • Field education
  • External courses

Learning Circles are held two times during each year of the program. Students are required to be away from home for approximately five weeks in each year. At the Learning Circles, students explore content related to education, pastoral care and social ministries while using their experience in community to learn group process theory and facilitation skills. Students form a learning partnership with a peer in the program for reflection and mutual learning in between Learning Circles. Learning partners find various ways to meet: e-mail, telephone, fax, by post or in person. Email access is beneficial to the program and highly recommended. Readings and assignments are required during each Learning Circle.

Field education is arranged within the student’s home area with learning facilitation on site or nearby. A Learning Facilitator is available on-site (or nearby) to reflect with the student on the practice of ministry. A Vocational Mentor also provides support as students work on lay/diaconal identity formation. In addition, each student meets with a local lay committee which provides support and opportunities for reflection on field learnings. Readings and assignments are required during field education.

External course requirements may be completed close to the student’s home or by correspondence through other theological schools or universities. Both the institutions and the courses chosen must be approved by CCS staff.

Students may take one or more optional Reflection Years, to take external courses, complete assignments, or follow a personal course of learning or reflection.

Experienced students inform us that full-time work along with diploma program studies is not advisable.


Joint Degrees

CCS offers joint diploma/degree programs with the University of Winnipeg and St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton. (More information…)