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History of the United Methodist Deacon: 1888-1967

In celebration of the 25th anniversary (1996-2021) of the Order of Deacon, this guide details the history of the United Methodist Deacon and the movements, events, and individuals who influenced its creation.


In 1888, the Methodist Episcopal Church created the office of Deaconess. Later, in 1902, the Methodist Episcopal Church South also created the office of Deaconess. The Chicago Training School, which merged with Garrett Biblical Institute (now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) in 1934, was instrumental in training deaconesses for their work serving the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, immigrants, and other marginalized people. This page contains primary and secondary texts about deaconesses and their work. These resources are available in the library and/or freely online.

Online Resources

Methodist Deaconesses