Formation models are proposed by the institute and customized for each diocese to meet their local needs. Course schedules are developed in collaboration with deacon directors so that courses are delivered when you need them.

All of our courses are delivered online using a state-of-the-art Learning Management System which incorporates individual, group, and field learning.  Each course integrates recorded lectures, written papers, written reflections, interactive student forums, weekly open office time with the instructor.

Certificate in Diaconal Studies

Students who complete 24 credit hours of work at the Josephinum Diaconate Institute are awarded a Certificate in Diaconal Studies. Additional certificates and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry are also available to students. Click Here for more about the MAPS program.

Benefits of Technology

Geography and time conflicts often present huge challenges for in-person class meetings.  However, the technology of the Internet allows students and instructors to interact with each other through online forums, video conferences and electronic messaging.  The Pontifical College Josephinum provides a Learning Management Environment that enables distance learning students to participate in lectures, forum discussions, chat sessions, submit written assignments, take examinations and receive feedback on their progress.

The director of deacons and the wives of students are allowed to audit courses taken by the student at no additional cost. With the signed consent of the students, regular reports on progress are provided to deacon directors.


The Pontifical College Josephinum falls under the direction of The Sacred Congregation of Bishops, with the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, as its Chancellor and the ordinary of Diocese of Columbus, Ohio as its Vice-Chancellor.

Our twelve-week courses are two graduate credit hours and our six-week courses are one graduate credit hour.  All of our courses currently lead toward a Certificate of Completion granted by the Pontifical College Josephinum.

Time Commitments

Each course is designed to be taken over a twelve-week or six-week, continuous period. Each course is made up of weekly modules or sub-units of the core materials. Each weekly lesson or module has been designed to have an average of five to eight hours of learner involvement per week.  

Involvement Methods 

Student learning incorporates a combination of:

  • Reading (online and/or paper)
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Fieldwork
  • Interactivity

Field Work

Aspirants, candidates, and ordained deacons or their colleagues in ministry are an important resource to the Church.  Part of the time commitment at the Josephinum Diaconate Institute will include opportunities to expand the network of others who serve or want to serve the Church.


Online learning allows for various types of interactivity with the instructor and fellow learners.

  • Synchronous activities allow interactions in real-time. Examples include¬†chat rooms, video conference calls, and office hours, which allow for discussions on course topics.
  • Asynchronous activities allow the students to read, research, reflect, and then share ideas with the other members of the course and the instructor.¬† Examples include written and journal assignments, forum discussions, and messages.¬† The forums and chat rooms provide for interaction with other students, which allows the students to expand their ministerial network with others taking the course. ¬†
  • Reading and paper writing assignments provide an opportunity to reflect on Scripture and Church documents, as well as the theology, doctrines, history, pastoral activities and liturgical practices of the church.¬†

Ongoing Course Improvement

We value your ongoing feedback regarding all facets of this course.  We hope to continually improve all aspects of learning. You will be asked to evaluate the course(s) you have taken and provide more extensive feedback as you wish.  

Please feel free to share your thoughts with your Facilitator and the Distance Learning Director of the Josephinum Diaconate Institute.