Scholarly Works – DUCC

Scholarly Works


Sound scholarship about diaconal ministry from the United Church’s diaconal community is a rich resource for diakonia.  DUCC members are also conducting research from a Diaconal perspective on theological issues and on the broad practice of ministry.

For a list of Diaconal Theses click here.  If your thesis is not in this list, please contact us ( so we can include it.


This is a bibliography of scholarly works that are available on line.  The intention is to make the scholarship from the DUCC community available.  To arrange for works to be added here contact us.


Being – The Essence and Vitality of Rural Congregational Life and Ministry MTS Diaconal Ministry  St. Stephen’s College 1996The stories of five rural United Church of Canada Congregations in the Peace River Country were used to address what it is that sustains, nurtures and enlivens these congregations. Sustaining rural congregational life and ministry may happen without nurturing and enlivening. Sustaining in and of itself is maintenance and is seldom life-giving. Nurturing is the key that offers the ability to sustain rural congregational life in an enlivened way.

DELISLE, KEN AND JOANNE KURY  Clowning for Change: An Object D’Art Portraying the Role of the Transforming Clown MTS Diaconal  Ministry St. Stephen’s College 1999  Clowning for Change examines the role of the clown throughout history and in different cultural contexts and offers playshops that people of any or no experience can follow or adopt to explore clowning.

DODD, TED  2016 Diaconal Vocation and Identity, First appeared in Touchstone (Canada) 2016

DODD, TED STM U of Winnipeg, 2003 Diaconal Ministry in the United Church of Canada: Function, Style and Perspective

DODD, TED Sacred Circle of Learning: A Model of Transformative Theological Education, DMin Vancouver School of Theology 2008  This project examines the nature of transformative learning by following a 17 day intensive module on ministry leadership, offered by the Centre for Christian Studies.

DOUGLAS, CARYN  A Story of Lost Opportunity: The Apology to Deaconesses Disjoined by The United Church of Canada  DMin St. Stephen’s College 2009This project tells the story of the removal of United Church of Canada Deaconesses from ministry when they married and examines the apology given to these women by the United Church in 2006.

DOUGLAS, CARYN  Disjoined Women: United Church Deaconesses Affected by a Marriage Bar, Historical Papers 2011 Canadian Society of Church History, p 113-128.

DUNCAN, ANNE and IRENE RAINEY Reclaiming Lament A Model for Engaging the Human Spirit in Journeying Toward Transformation, Healing and Justice Making  MTS Diac Min, St. Stephen’s College 2002 Lament is an ancient literary form through which our Hebrew ancestors expressed to God their distress about injustice and suffering. This research project demonstrates that lament is integral to healing and transformation as it engages the human spirit in an interactive, communal process. The model which emerges forms the basis for a theology and ministry of transformation and justice-making, as well as a compelling argument for reclaiming lament.

HEUER, KAY and TERESA JONES “Diaconal Ministry as a Feminist Model of Ministry” in Gathered by the River Reflections and essays of women doing ministry, Artemis Enterprises, 1994

HEUER, KATHLEEN (KAY)  So Tell Me Again, What is a Diaconal Minister?St. Stephen’s College Major Project, 1992 An examination of how United Church Diaconal Ministers and the United Church view diaconal identity.

HEUER, KATHLEEN (KAY) Calling or Co-optation? Revisioning Ministry in the United Church of Canada  DMin St. Stephen’s College 1999  This project/dissertation explores the choice of diaconal ministers in the United Church to become ordained, from the perspective of a feminist ecclesiology.

HUNTLY, ALYSON Daring to be United Including Lesbians and Gays in the United Church of Canada, United Church Publishing House, Toronto 1998. (This book is available at the Centre for Christian Studies Library)

HUNTLY, ALYSON In Parable: The Narrative Selves of Adolescent Girls, PhD Thesis, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario 2009.Drawing on the work of biblical scholars who understand Jesus’ parables as poetic
metaphor, 11 aspects of parables help to hear and interpret girls’ stories.

JARVIS, JOAN and MARILYN CARROLL Being – The Essence and Vitality of Rural Congregational Life, See CARROLL, MARILYN and JOAN JARVIS

KURY, JOANNE, Clowning for Change, See DELISLE, KEN and JOANNE KURY

LLOYD, BARBARA   Mountain Moving Women: A Study of Structural and Systemic Change for Justice in the Church MTS Diaconal Ministry, St. Stephen’s College 1999 This research examines how structural and systemic change for justice comes about in the church by studying the development and implementation of the Women in Ministry staff position in the United Church of Canada.

LLOYD, BARBARA   Open to the Spirit: United Church of Canada Congregations Engaging their Twenty-First Century Context. DMin, San Francisco Theological School 2008   The work discovers five common traits that reflected an openness to the Spirit moving in congregations to address their contexts with justice and love.  These five traits were analyzed and interpreted from a postcolonial feminist point of view providing both affirmations and challenges for these and other congregations as they try to faithfully embody the Spirit of Christ in this time.

MACFARLANE, MARY ANNE  A Tale of Handmaidens: Deaconesses in the United Church of Canada, 1925 to 1964 MA, U of Toronto 1987 A thorough history of the United Church of Canada Deaconess Order from 1925 to 1964.

MCCONNELL, SHERRI Canadian Deaconess and Missionary Education for Women – Training to Live the Social Gospel:  The Methodist National Training School and the Presbyterian Deaconess and Missionary Training Home, 1893-1926  MA, U of Winnipeg 2003  This thesis argues that through the integration of the late nineteenth century missionary imperative with the newly emerging social gospel movement of the early twentieth century, a unique form of theological education and vocational development was created specifically for women.  The adaptive, practical and socially focused ethos of the training schools meant the training schools became their denominations’ concrete embodiment of the social gospel – an ethos which can be seen in today’s diaconal education/formation.

MCCONNELL, SHERRI  Training Deaconesses the Manitoba Way: Manitoba College’s Women’s Program  1998. The history of the Women’s Program at Manitoba College, preparation for deaconesses 1920-1939.  (For a page on this program click here.)

POST, NANCY   New Way of Seeing: Innovative Ministry through Friendship with Adults who have a Developmental Disability MTS Diaconal Ministry, St. Stephen’s College 1997The story of how we have come to see ourselves, each other, the church and the world differently. It points to the potential for congregations to become agents of social transformation through direct contact, friendship and public solidarity with the disenfranchised people in our neighbourhoods.


SCHWEYER, DEBRA  The Art of Diakonia MTS Diaconal Ministry St. Stephen’s College 1998 The paper explores how the arts have changed/shaped/reflected the realities of the world and compares that to Diakonia in 3 particular time periods; the early church (first century), the middle ages and in modern time.

STEWART, LORI Once upon a spiral: the story of the Centre for Christian Studies Action/Reflection Model  EdD, International University of the Caribbean with University of Sheffield 2012 A gathering together of the narratives of the “spiral” in the life of the Centre for Christian Studies.

[TUSZ-] KING, ERIC   Animating the Church’s Participation in Community Development Helping to Turn the Tide of Social Ministry MA Adult Education, St. Francis XavierThe purpose of this study was to develop a set of guiding principles and to articulate appropriate roles and functions for an animator to use in the church sponsored community development work.

TUSZ-KING, ERIC  Promoting Diaconal Ministry with Presbytery Education and Students and Pastoral Relations Committees MTS Diaconal Ministry, St. Stephen’s College 2001  Based upon an action-reflection model of adult education, the project developed several print resources and workshop outlines for interpreting diaconal ministry, for use by these particular committees.  These resources and workshops, which are included in the appendices, were trialed and evaluated by the three presbyteries’ Education and Students and Pastoral Relations Committees.