Deaconesses in the Presbyterian Church in America

Because the practice of having ordained deaconesses is de jure not allowed in the PCA and the practice of having unordained deaconesses is contested (see this year’s Overture 26, for example), PCA churches may be pressured not to report deaconesses, even if the practice is de facto in place. Indeed, many of the websites we found mentioned “deaconesses” or “women on the diaconate” without listing the number or names. These churches were coded as having zero deaconesses for the purpose of our analysis. As such, we suspect that our findings are a lower bound estimate, under reporting the practice in the PCA.

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