Model for Initial Formation

The Josephinum Diaconate Institute Curriculum

A Distance Learning Diaconal Formation Program Model

Developed by the Josephinum Diaconate Institute

 Please note that this model is a draft of the program that individual dioceses or eparchies might develop for their students.  The JDI staff will work with each deacon director to define details and ensure that required classes are offered in the desired semester.

Spiritual and Human Formation by Year

Intellectual Formation and Support for Spiritual Formation

Pastoral Formation

Aspirancy Period





Spiritual Direction


Diocesan Post-Aspirancy Acceptance


Trimester A

(12 weeks)


Trimester B

(12 weeks)


Trimester C

(12 weeks)




Coordination with Pastor and/or Ministry Leader

Introduction to Diaconal Ministry, Service, and the Role of Deacon in Today’s World (2)

Introduction to Scripture (1)


Introduction to Social Justice (1)

Diaconate Spirituality and Liturgy of the Hours (2)

Candidacy – Year 1


Diocesan Candidacy Acceptance


Spiritual Direction



Philosophy for Understanding Theology (2) 

Ecclesiology (2)



Fundamental Theology (2)


Christology (2)



Catholic Social Teaching (2)


Church History (2)



Coordination with Pastor and/or Ministry Leader

Candidacy – Year 2


Spiritual Retreat & Evaluation A


Spiritual Direction





Sacramental Theology (2)*


Principles of Catechesis (2)
* Two courses per trimester



Pastoral Theology (2)



Pastoral Counseling (2)



The Pentateuch (2)



Church Fathers (Patristics) (2)



Practicum or Field Education Experience I

Candidacy – Year 3



Spiritual Retreat & Evaluation B


Spiritual Direction






Synoptic Gospels/Acts (2)*


Moral Theology (2)
* Two courses per trimester




The Prophets (2)


Medical and Health Care Morality (2)




The Psalms(2)


Canon Law (2)




Practicum or Field Education Experience II

Candidacy – Year 4


Spiritual Retreat & Evaluation C


Spiritual Direction






Gospel of John (2)*


Ecumenical and Inter-religious Studies (2)

* Two courses per trimester




The Pauline Letters (2)


Introduction to Homiletics (2)




Introduction to Grief Counseling (2)


Homiletics 1 (2)




Practicum or Field Education Experience II



The courses in Bold typeface are included above.





Introduction to Diaconate

Introduction to Social Justice

Introduction to Scripture

Diaconal Spirituality

Introduction to the Catechism

Vatican II Overview


The Pentateuch

The Prophets

Wisdom Literature

The Psalms

Synoptics / Acts

The Pauline Letters

Gospel of John

Book of Revelation

Philosophy for Understanding Theology

Fundamental Theology

Moral Theology

Sacramental Theology

Pastoral Theology



Pastoral Ministry

Introduction to Homiletics

Homiletics 1

Homiletics 2 (Better Homilies)

Homilies for Special Occasions

Catholic Social Teaching


Church History


Patristics (Church Fathers)

Ecumenical and Inter-religious Studies

Implementing the RCIA of Adults



Best Practices in Pastoral Adminstration

Canon Law

Counseling Marriage & Family

Ecumenical and Interreligious

Hispanic Ministry

Hospital-Health Care Ministry

Introduction to Grief Counseling

Medical & Health Care Morality

Pastoral Counseling

Prison Ministry

Planning and Conducting Funerals and Memorial Services




Principles of Catechesis

Theology of Liturgy

Sacred Music