Deaconess & Home Missioner Ministry
For laity in The United Methodist Church who feel called by God to a full-time vocation in service with those who are marginalized and in need in the world today, there is an opportunity to be part of a supportive community in connection with The United Methodist Church. The Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner is the only currently open office in The United Methodist Church for those called to full time vocations in servant ministries as laity.
Deaconesses, who are laywomen, and home missioners, who are laymen form a covenant community that is rooted in Scripture, informed by history, driven by mission, ecumenical in scope, and global in outreach. This community of laity has responded to the call of God in their lives and has been commissioned by The United Methodist Church in a life-time relationship to full-time ministries of love, justice, and service.
While the Office of Deaconess has been a part of our tradition as a church since 1888, the Office of Home Missioner was established at the 2004 General Conference providing lay men with an opportunity to serve in a life-time relationship in The United Methodist Church. This has been the first opportunity for lay men to be in an official life-time relationship in ministry since the closing of the option of Diaconal Minister by the 1996 General Conference.
Learn more about the history of the Offices of Deaconess and Home Missioner.
The ministries of deaconesses and home missioners reflect the commitment to “function through diverse forms of service directed toward the world to make Jesus Christ known in the fullness of his mission, which mandate that his followers:
- Alleviate suffering;
- Eradicate causes of injustice and all that robs life of dignity and worth;
- Facilitate the development of full human potential; and
- Share in building global community through the church universal.” The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2008 - paragraph 1314.1
These ministries are most often on the cutting edge and may be in a church-related vocation or helping profession. Current ministries include but are not limited to issues related to prison ministry, environment, refugees, immigration, healthcare, education, homelessness, women and children, youth and families, senior adults, peace with justice, working poor, and a wide variety of church and community ministries.
Discerning your calling?
Becoming a Deaconess or Home Missioner
Living Justice Seminar