Ecumenical Resources

Canadian Church of England Deaconesses, ordered by Bishop Beverly in 1949

Included are links for:

  • Denominational: Anglican, (American, Australian)  Methodist (American), Methodist (New Zealand), Lutheran (American, Canadian), Presbyterian (Canada), United Church of Christ (USA)
  • Diakonia: World and Regional Diakonia
  • World Council of Churches


Project Canterbury  Accessible original documents and papers on Women in the Anglican Communion.  Here are some examples of the papers found here:

Susan Trevor Knapp American Episcopalian Deaconess, Used with Permission

The Deaconess and Church Training School: Paper Read at the Woman’s Auxiliary Meeting of the Missionary Council at Washington. By Deaconess Susan Trevor Knapp.(Click for short biography)

A Form for the Setting Apart of Deaconesses in the Diocese of New York. New York: no publisher, 1890.

Deaconesses in the Church of England: A Short Essay on the Order as Existing in the Primitive Church, and on Their Present Position and Work. London: Griffith and Farran, 1880.

The Deaconesses of the Church in Modern Times. Compiled by Lawson Carter Rich. Reprinted from The Churchman, May 4, 1907.

The Ministry of Deaconesses. Edward L. Parsons. Berkeley, California: no publisher, 1909.

Anglican (Australian)

Anglican Deaconess Ministries Includes a history and current information on the order and the education program through Mary Andrew’s College.

Episcopalian (United States)

Home of the Innocents and the Diocese of Kentucky Commemoration of Deaconess Emily Cooper.  1873 Deaconess Cooper was added to Feast Day rooster by the Diocese and a statue erected for her work with children.  Her biography is available here. Pictures here.

Ormonde Plater Blog, Through the Dust  Ormonde is an Episcopal Deacon and Author of several books on the diaconate. His blog includes profiles and photos of deaconesses.

Lutheran Deaconesses in the operating room of the Deaconess Institute and Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska. Lutheran and Methodist Deaconesses established many hospitals in the US at the turn of the 20th Century. Photo courtesy of ELCA Archives.



The Deaconess Community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Archives on line display of Deaconess History and Photographs, with links to Deaconess Profiles



Deaconesses and Their Work  Biblical, Early Church, European and American, Lucy Rider Meyer, The Deaconess Advocate, Chicago, 1897.

New Zealand

List of New Zealand Methodist Deaconesses




Order of Diaconal Ministries, Presbyterian Church in Canada


1887 Baird Lectures by Prof.A.H. Charteris, Organization of Women’s Work, Diaconate in the Reformation Churches

Horatio Macrae, Alice Maxwell, Deaconess Church of Scotland, 1919.  Through the story of Alice Maxwell the Development of the Church of Scotland Deaconess movement is revealed.  The work includes extensive citing of original sources.

United Church of Christ (USA)

History of United Church of Christ Deaconess Movement

A “Tasooni” or sister of The Daughters of St. Mary Convent, Beni Souef, an order of Coptic Deaconesses in Egypt. They run clinics and mobile clinics, nurseries, elementary schools and other services for mentally handicapped persons.



Diakonia World Federation

Diakonia Asia Pacific (DAP)

Diakonia of the Americas and the Caribbean (DOTAC)

Diakonia Region Africa Europe(DRAE)

World Council of Churches

No author attributed. “The Life and Work of Women in the Church”, Ecumenical Review, 5 No. 2, January 1953, pg 159-166.
World Council of Churches Commission on Life and Work of Women in the Church and Meeting of the Commission Life and Work of Women in the Church, Oxford, 1952.