Forming and Supporting Deacons to Serve in the Lutheran Church

Order of St Stephen, Deacon


Thank you for your interest in The Order of St Stephen Deacon in Maryland.  We are a cadre of approximately 60 Lutheran lay leaders serving in Maryland and Delaware.  Our three-year training program meets one day per week and prepares the candidate to serve in a congregation to a call of Word and Service.  In this call, we may help people with their earthly needs, we may find ourselves visiting the sick and lonely, or working in many other ways such as food pantries and clothing giveaways.    

Through the learning process and as active members of the order, we participate with a sense of community, having friends and mentors whom are serving in other churches that we may call upon with questions or ideas.

On the Academic page of this site, you  may read more about the course offerings. One can enter the program at any time, taking the next course offering.  When all courses are completed, one is ready to be “set apart” as a member of the OSSD.  The training stresses the relationship with the candidate’s supervising pastor.  A strong relationship in this regard sustains one through the program and  time serving in a ccongregation. 

Through the process, our team helps the candidate discern their call to service.

We are happy to speak with you casually, or send someone to your congregation, either to speak individually or to a group about our order and the process to become involved and complete the training.  

As the ELCA continues to find new ways to involve lay leadership, we contain to train to raise up leaders with training that can  help them be of assistance to the pastor and congregation.

New applicants can click here to download our application. Please send the completed application to OSSD, c/o Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 905 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228. 

If you wish to reach me directly, please email INFO at God’s blessings be with you.

Doug Wittich, OSSD



Our classes are Bible-based.

Diakonos - Means to serve. Christou is Greek for Christ.  We serve Christ as he served us.

We are charged with serving as a bridge between the church and the community.

We are called to serve Christ by helping to serve the people.