Women Deacons Online Seminar

Registration for the Massive Online Open Seminar (MOOS) on Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future is now open. The seminar will run June 9-July 8, 2014.

Instructors for this FREE seminar are Gary Macy, William T. Ditewig, and Phyllis Zagano, all noted researchers and authors of articles and books on the women’s diaconate.

To register here, follow the directions below. Then review the materials needed for the seminar and the course outline.

How to Register

1. Go to the initial registration page and enter your country name (example: United States) there. This will allow Dr. Zagano to show visually where the participants reside. Now click the “Click here to enroll” button.

2. On the CourseSites screen, click the Self-Enroll option.

3. Assuming that you have never used CourseSites before, on the next screen choose the second option: I need a CourseSites account. (If you already have an account, proceed with the log-in option and choose the Hofstra Women Deacons course.)

4. Complete the next screen (1. Create a New Student Account) with your name, email address, user name, password and other information. Also, make sure your screen shows None as the “institution/district/company” option.

5. Click Continue and on the next screen click Go to course to open the “Blackboard” for your new account.

That’s it! You are registered. The site will send your email address a verification and a welcome message; confirm the email when it arrives. You will receive future communications and notices about course-related materials at the same email address.

What You Need

Although the online seminar itself is free, you do need to purchase two books to participate. Both are easily available, in softcover print or as a Kindle download, at reasonable prices from Amazon.com. And if you purchase through the links below, Voice of the Faithful receives a percentage (approximately 4%) of the sale price … so you can donate while learning!

Ordination of Women to the Diaconate in the Eastern Churches: Essays by Cipriano Vagaggini (Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press, 2013). Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future. (With Gary Macy and William T. Ditewig) (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2011). 

Course Outline

During the seminar, the first four days of each week will contain readings and lectures (about one hour’s worth of work per day).

Each Friday, the Discussion Board will open for three days. Where possible an instructor or a teaching assistant will join in.

The seminar will consider questions related to past, present, and future during the discussion:

1. In the past: Who were the women deacons in the early church? Were they ordained? What did they do? Why did they disappear?

2. In the present: When was the diaconate rejuvenated, and why? Has there been consideration of women in the diaconate?

3. In the future: What are the obstacles to women in the diaconate? How can these challenges be addressed? What would it mean for women to be ordained?​




  1. Dear Friends in Christ, I have just been trying to buy the books for the deaconess seminar, but when it comes to ‘Ordination of Women to the Diaconate’ Amazon comes up with ‘We cannot ship to your country’. I live in the UK. Any suggestions welcomed. Blessings , Margaret Watson

  2. The British Isles distributor for most LitPress titles is Columba, http://www.columba.ie, based in Ireland but serving the other British Isles countries too. Columba supplies religious and general bookstores as well as retailing direct.

    (The exception is LitPress music titles in the Psallite series, whose exclusive GB distributor is Magnificat Music, http://www.magnificatmusic.com, which also supplies religious bookstores and other outlets as well as retailing direct.)

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