Growing in Faith


The New York Diakonia Program


What is Growing in Faith?

Growing in Faith is a two-year process of spiritual formation and theological education, also known as The Diakonia Program.

Diakonia is a national program of education for people in the Lutheran church. It was developed by a Lutheran pastor (former MNYS Bishop Stephen Bouman) to help develop dynamic disciples. While the program is designed to be completed in two years, some students take more time.

Is this for me?

If growing in your faith sounds exciting to you, then YES, the Diakonia Program is for you.

Growing in Faith The New York Diakonia Program, fulfills Martin Luther’s desire that all people study their Christian faith.

This program is for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of the Lutheran faith and learning other ways to use their skills for service to God and their community of faith. Speak to one of our location managers about how this program might work for you.

The program provides educational and spiritual growth through worship, retreats, and a supportive community of fellow students, mentors, and instructors. It includes twelve courses, six per academic year.

Each course is five (5) sessions in length, and meets weekly for one three (3) hour session. Assignments and reading reflect the twin purposes of relating subject matter to the students' context of life and ministry (family, parish, neighborhood area of ministry), and providing a solid background on the topic.

Topics include: Old and New Testament Studies, Church History, Christian Ethics, Worship, Visitation, Spirituality and Church Doctrine.

Students work at their own level, and assignments reflect the understanding that students are already busy in their families, jobs, and parish. Typically, students average approximately two to four hours of studies per week in addition to class time.

Participants want to deepen their life of faith. Many students find that through their coursework they become more interested in serving the Church in a variety of ways: teaching, administration, liturgical leadership, action for social justice, evangelism, visitation of the sick, community organization, youth work, ministry among the elderly, and the like.

Although this course of study is used by students who wish to continue on to become a Rostered Deacon in our synod, it is not a requirement of the classes to  serve in this way. (In fact, the majority of graduates do not go on to become deacons)

A recent graduate says:
"Now I know why Lutherans do what we do in our worship and in the world. I understand the Bible and its history more deeply, and can talk more comfortably about my faith.

Another recent student states:
“This experience provides a background and foundation for following God's call to "go out" It strengthens you for weekly worship and your Monday through Saturday walk. The energy and enthusiasm from fellow Christians is contagious!"

Don’t wait to “Grow your Faith”

Download the Diakonia brochure

Bajar el folleto de Diakonia en español

Contact a location manger or one of our Steering Committee members:

Executive Director: Rev. Rebecca Pollicino
Committee Chair: Deacon Ingrid Compton

Learn more on the National Diakonia website
For information on availability of online classes please visit national website


New York Locations, Meeting Time, Location Contact

Western Suffolk   
Saturdays 9am – 12pm
Ascension Lutheran Church
33 Bayshore Road, Deer Park
S. Dcn. Donna-Mari Fieldsa
p: 917 270 5152 
Manhattan English     
Wednesdays 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
155 East 22nd Street
Location Manager: Dcn. Camille Holman
p: 917.862.5881


Manhattan Latino     
Saturdays 9:30am - 12:30pm
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church
619 Lexington Avenue
Location Manager:  Rev. Fabian Arias


Tuesdays 7pm– 10pm
Hope Lutheran Church
46 Dare Rd, Selden
Location Manager: Ms. Liz Hoffmann
p: 516.382.2164
Saturdays 9:30am - 12:30pm
Trinity Lutheran Church
31-18 37th Street, Long Island City
Location Manager: Dcn. Roberta Detmers
p: 917.232.8373


Southern Westchester     
Mondays 7pm – 10pm
Emanuel Lutheran Church
197 Manville Road, Pleasantville
Ms. Rebekkah Bello
e: rebel4ssi@aol.com
p: 914.980.6132 
Ms. Donna Vitella
e: donnavitetta@gmail.com
p: 914.672.1209 


Zoom Classes
Thursdays 7pm-10pm
Location Manager: Ms. Liz Hoffmann  
p: 516-382-2164 
Executive Director:
The Rev Rebecca Pollicino 
e: revrebeccap@gmail.com
p: 516-225-6859
Steering Committee Chair:
Dcn Ingrid Compton 
e: ingridcompton@yahoo.com
p: 917-929-7449