From the earliest Christian community (Acts 6:1-6) to the present, deacons have played an integral part in the life of the Church. The ministry of the diaconate is an integral part of the Church’s ecclesial identity, being one of the three ordained offices of the Church. As the name implies (διάκονος = “servant”), the diaconate is the office of service par excellence, and the deacon serves at the behest of the local Metropolitan both liturgically and pastorally in the life of a community.
Through an intensive mentoring program, distance learning offerings, and a total of three summer sessions on the campus of Holy Cross, the Diaconate Program introduces candidates to the theology, history, liturgical practices, pastoral approaches, and canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church. The program provides candidates with a cohort of like-minded individuals seeking to prepare themselves for service to the Church.
The on‐campus certificate program is designed to prepare a candidate for the ordained diaconate within 3 years. However, the program is open to candidate for up to 6 years. The candidate must be a committed and mature Orthodox Christian who has been active in a parish, and who senses a calling from the Lord to serve the Church in the diaconal ministry. The program is the basis for other meetings and studies required by the local Metropolitan, and complemented by service in a parish under the mentorship of the local priest.
The program is designed especially for persons who are members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and who have the blessing of their Metropolitans to participate. Persons from other Orthodox jurisdictions may also apply to participate in the program. This program is not designed for persons who sense a calling to the priesthood.
Candidates will receive a Certificate of Study from Holy Cross upon the successful completion of the Diaconate Program. Applicants should be aware that admission into and successful completion of the Diaconate Program is not a guarantee for ordination. It is understood that the Holy Synod will determine the final criteria for ordination to the diaconate and that diaconal assignments to a particular parish or ministry are made by one’s Metropolitan.
To educate, train and test diaconate candidates for service in the Orthodox Church. Instruction in diaconate teleturgics are based on service in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Program Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate competency of Orthodox theology and history and with the writings of the major Church Fathers.
2. Demonstrate competency in the teleturgical responsibilities of an Orthodox deacon.
3. Demonstrate competency in the yearly liturgical cycle, the various feasts and liturgical services of the Orthodox Church and the diaconate roll in those services.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of how to support the local Priest with pastoral visitations and other pastoral needs of the community.
5. Demonstrate a willingness to offer their God given gifts, beyond pastoral care, to the Priest so he may direct them in ministry to support the needs of the parish.
Each of the four educational and formational components of the program has its own supervisory framework.
Administered by Holy Cross faculty
Over a three year period the program provides a hybrid of 9 online/in person classes, three summer on campus sessions, and has a requirement for six term papers.
HCHC Diaconate Program Leadership Team-(See also Regional Leaders below)
Dr Jim Skedros- Program Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Dn John Wise-Program Coordinator email@example.com
Rev Dn Sal Fazio-Director of Outreach firstname.lastname@example.org
Administered by the assigned Metropolis priest
The Clergy Mentor is responsible for a minimum of 12 hours of individual guidance on the parish level in the areas of liturgical practice, and pastoral care each year. The mentor is the person that communicates the candidates progress in the program to their respective Metropolitan and the faculty of Holy Cross via the Clergy Mentor Forms 1 and 2. These forms are the same and are intended to track improvement and identify candidate weaknesses/strengths so when they come to the program session the DP Instructors can focus better on their individual needs.
Required Clergy Mentor Forms:
While the mentor works as an enabler rather than informer, he is also responsible for the training of the candidate as to how they will conduct their liturgical and pastoral responsibilities if they have the blessing to be ordained to the Diaconate by the Hierarch.
The mentoring requirements for the candidate include both the recording of ten Pastoral Visitations done with the mentor and the specific mentoring outlined in the two candidate Journal forms. These forms outline what HCHC DP Staff refers to as the Clergy Mentor shadowing experience.
Required Candidate Forms:
Requirements for formal re-admittance into the Diaconate Program after a candidate has indicated withdrawal to HCHC within the 6 year max or after the 6 year program max duration has been exceeded.
Administered by the local Metropolitan and his Regional leaders
Each Metropolitan is responsible for designating two types of Metropolis Groups.
Administered by Holy Cross faculty
Deacon Alumni and candidates are afforded several opportunities to continue their education and spiritual growth, as well as their service to their parish and community. They are encouraged to participate in Clergy-Laity, APC events, Video conference Guest speaker opportunities, and the Metropolis Fellowship/Regional Groups whenever possible and as appropriate.
HCHC Diaconate Program Patches Available
For Orders Contact: George Fekaris
HCHC Diaconate Program-Golf Shirts and Sweat Shirts Available
15 year Anniversary Mugs were a big hit at the session!
Contact: Dr Spiro Xydas
For DP 2022 Candidates the deadline to order is June 3rd, 2022.
This way we can hand deliver your order at HCHC in person at session in July.
(Diaconate Merch Model Luke Twito with Diaconate Program Mentor Fr Peter Chamberas)
If you have questions about the program or the application process, please click the Inquiry button below, and a Diaconate Program Enrollment team member will contact you soon. The annual program fee is $2,150.INQUIRE ABOUT DIACONATE PROGRAM
Coming Soon!! Diaconate Program Session fee payment Button!
Accepted 1st year Program applicants as well as Program enrolled second and third year candidates will be able to pay the Program Session Fee here online soon!
Formally Accepted applicants by HCHC Admissions shall pay the Annual Session Fee of $2,150 + processing fee within 2 weeks of receiving acceptance
ALL enrolled 2nd and 3rd year candidates are required to pay the Annual Session Fee of $2,150 + processing fee preferably at the start of each session in September and must be paid by January 31st, 2023.DIACONATE PROGRAM PRESS RELEASE