Pre-Deaconess Program (A)

Since 1919, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has trained women to serve as deaconesses in the congregations and other institutions of the church. They have served remarkably in education, mission, administration, and works of mercy. Currently, the LCMS trains deaconesses on both the undergraduate level at Concordia—Chicago and the graduate level at Concordia—Chicago and at both Synodical seminaries. The pre-deaconess program provides financial aid, vocational counseling, encouragement, and support to women, as well as elevating the visibility of diaconal service. Pre-deaconess students are served by the pre-seminary director. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Outcomes will depend upon the major and/or minor of the student's choice.


Grade requirements: GPA of 2.50 to meet seminary admissions requirements

Core Courses
Old Testament
Biblical Theology
Greek I
Additional Courses
New Testament
Greek II
Greek III

Students select one of the following majors or minors:

1. Christian Thought major or minor
2. Philosophy minor
3. Applied Theology major
4. Theological Languages major or minor
5. Parish Music major
6. Family Life Ministry major
7. Biblical Studies major or minor

The other major or minor required to graduate is left to the student’s discretion, though students are encouraged to match their studies with their anticipated areas of service (e.g. Music major or minorWorship Arts Leadership minor, or Adolescent Studies minor). 

Program Admission

Application for Entry into the Pre-Deaconess Program

Since deaconess ministry is an office of the Church of Christ, it demands individuals exhibiting the highest level of talent, personal knowledge, aptitude, skill, and Christian character. For this reason the following criteria have been established for acceptance into the Pre-Deaconess Program. Application is generally made in the second semester of the sophomore year.

1. Successful completion of a minimum of 45 semester hours of credit. 
2. CGPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. (Probationary acceptance may be given to students with a CGPA of at least 2.0 if other requirements are met.)
3. Evidence of proficiency in English appropriate to the pre-seminary program.
4. Submission of a completed application form, available from the pre-seminary director.
5. Completion of basic theology courses.
6. Exhibition of an exemplary Christian life. 
7. Interviews with and written recommendation of the pre-seminary director.

Acceptance Procedure 

1. Notification of acceptance into the program will be made by letter.
2. Notification of non-acceptance or probationary acceptance of the applicant will also be made by letter after the interview with the pre-seminary director.
3. A copy of this letter is filed in the applicant’s folder in the pre-seminary director’s office.
4. A student who is refused acceptance into the program may re-apply up to two more times. 

Program Continuation

To maintain ‘‘good standing’’ status in the pre-deaconess program, a student must maintain a 2.5 CGPA.