THL220 The Diaconate (8)

The order of deacon in the Christian church has undergone great changes over the centuries. Students will examine contemporary developments in this order of ministry in the light of its history and the practice of the church.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 2 (60)
Canberra Campus
Session 3 (90)
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL220. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Assumed Knowledge

THL115 and THL120

Subject Relationships

THL426 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to reflect theologically on diaconal ministry, in the light of tradition and practice;
  • be able to examine the language of the diaconate in the New Testament;
  • be able to trace the subsequent development of the diaconate in the New Testament;
  • be able to trace the subsequent development of church order and the place of the diaconate within it;
  • be able to discuss the modern-day re-emergence of the diaconate, examining its expression in various Christian traditions;
  • be able to articulate and discuss the challenges to the 21st-century diaconate.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Diaconia in the New Testament
  • The development of threefold order of ministry in the early church
  • The decline of the diaconate in the post-Constantinian church
  • The medieval church
  • The renewal of the diaconate in contemporary thought and praxis
  • The place and function of the diaconate in various Christian traditions
  • Uniting Church perspectives
  • Anglican perspectives
  • Catholic perspectives
  • Challenges for the 21st-century diaconate

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.The compulsory residential school will assist the student in the development and understanding of the diaconate and its application to various ecclesial situations and circumstances. The students will reflect, both individually and in groups, on the role of the diaconate in the 21st century, and hear from practicing deacons of the challenges for diaconal ministry in Australia.

The compulsory residential will include experiential exercises, field trips, group discussions, videos and face-to-face lectures.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.