Skip to content »

Garrett-Evangelical Offers Continuing Education Opportunity Exploring the Order of Deacon in The United Methodist Church

July 27, 2014

Committed to deacon studies since the creation of the order in 1996, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is proud to offer a new course this fall entitled, The United Methodist Deacon. Taught by Professor Emeritus of Christian Education, Dr. Margaret Ann Crain, this much anticipated course will explore the possibilities, origins, theology, and ministry of the Order of Deacon in The United Methodist Church. Presented conveniently as three individual weekend sessions, this course offers lay and ordained leadership an opportunity to grow in their understanding of this essential ministry to the church and our world.

 “Garrett-Evangelical has been important as a training place for deacons in the UMC since the new order was created in 1996,” said Dr. Crain. “Now the seminary leads again with a course that considers how the order of deacon challenges the ecclesiology and clarifies the mission of the UMC. Deacons are poised to focus and lead the church in its mission. At the same time, some district superintendents and bishops have not known how to unlock the possibilities of the deacon or how to support appointments of deacons. This course will explore the order of deacon and consider how to live into its missional promise.”

Dr. Crain is Professor Emeritus of Christian Education at Garrett-Evangelical and is an ordained deacon of the United Methodist Church in full connection with the Northern Illinois Conference. Crain’s contributions to the academy and the Church have made her one of the most well-known and well-respected scholar practitioners in her field. She has served as a board member of the Christian Educators Fellowship and editor of Christians in Education, and was co-writer for the UMC Commission for the Study of Ministry in the 2008-2012 quadrennium. Crain also has participated in ecumenical organizations such as The Ecumenical Network for the Diaconate (TEND), the Diaconal Organization of the Americas and Canada (DOTAC), and the DIAKONIA World Federation. Her most recent publication, The United Methodist Deacon: Ordained to Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice (Abingdon Press 2014), gives a clear understanding of the order of deacon, beginning with a discussion of how its unique call sets apart persons for ordained ministry.

Continuing education students can register for one, two or all three weekend sessions. One CEU is available per session. To learn more and to register, go to