Women Deacons

Posted on Posted in Articles




1 – The Apostles restricted the diaconate to men only:  The office of deacon is created in Acts 6:1-6.  And the Apostles give clear instructions in Acts 6:3 — “brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”  The seven chosen are all men: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas (Acts 6:5).

2 –  Scripture is clear that the diaconate is male-only: In addition to the above, St. Paul lays out the requirements for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, and says things like “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well” (1 Timothy 3:12).  As has been discussed before, that’s a one wife limit, not minimum.  But Paul’s requirements presuppose that the deacons are all men.  Not only would the one wife limit not apply to female deacons, but female deacons wouldn’t be called to rule over their own houses (Ephesians 5:23).

3 – The Greek word for deacon isn’t always a clerical title:  The Greek word here literally means servant or server.  That’s because the first job of the deacons involved the daily distribution of food to widows (Acts 6:1).  So when St. Paul refers to Phoebe as a diakonos, he might be calling her a deaconess of God, but he might also be calling her a servant of God.

4 – “deaconesses” were laywomen who served as servants of God, and assisted the clergy.  Holy women? Absolutely.  Female deacons?  Absolutely not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *