Competencies for Deacons

The Iona Report uses a competency model for the formation and lifelong learning of deacons rather a narrowly academic model dependent simply on memorization and written exams.

  • A learner shows "proficiency in a number of different ways, in the doing of particular skills and in the application of knowledge gained."
  • This allows for wide application across different cultural, ecclesial (church), and social contexts.

The core work of the Task Force was the identification of seven areas of competency for Deacons and specific competencies within each area:

A. Diakonia and the Diaconate

B. Human Awareness and Understanding

C. Spirituality and Spiritual Practice

D. Practical Training and Experience

E. Church Polity and Diaconal Ministry in the Public Square

F.  Scripture

G. Christian History

For each of these areas, the document provides:

  • many concrete examples of what it COULD look like when a deacon is demonstrating the competency at a particular stage in their formation. Acknowleging that context varies, these are not what a deacon MUST do, but rather what s/he MIGHT do
  • several clarifications and expansions of specific competencies in these areas

Association for Episcopal Deacons

The Association for Episcopal Deacons has also developed Deacon Competencies, in part adapted from The Iona Report. You can download both The Iona Report and the AED Deacon Competencies document below.