Deacons: Male and Female by Steve Sandifer

Sandifer Deacons


If you would like more information or are interested in a copy of the book, please email Steve Sandifer:

Sandifer provides an excellent history of the official roles that women have filled throughout Christianity. But this excellent book is not just about women as deacons. Sandifer asks that we reconsider our understanding of church offices in general….Sandifer has gone to great pains to research both the Scriptures and the historical role of deacons.
-John S. Scott, The Christian Chronicle
J. Stephen Sandifer has presented a work which provides most extensive documentation on the subject of deacons, male or female. One is no obliged to agree with his conclusions on many key topoics and verses to appreciate the compilation of references from many sourches within and outside churches of Christ.
-William Woodson, The Spiritual Sword
The book contains a wealth of information for churches making decisions about the role of deacons and about the appointment of women as deacons. One can share Sandifer’s hope that such decisions will be based on biblically and historically informed reflection. His book should contribute toward that end.
-Douglas Gragg, The Restoration Quarterly
This book….challenges the all-male ministry position usually taken by Churches of Christ. The author makes a persuasive and yet cautious case for female deacons, drawing upon a wide variety of sources, including our own history. He conclues that a change can come without disrupting unity, with some churches having no deacons, some only male deacons, and some both male and female deacons.
-Leroy Garrett, Restoration Review
This is one of the best studies of the history and role of the deacon that has been published for members of the Churches of Christ, and quite possibly any Christian church. The link will take you Steve’s web page on the South West Central Church of Christ web site. Along with information on how to order his study on deacons, you will find an indepth study done by Steve on the Lord’s Supper. I have attended classes taught by Steve and I can attest to his ability to thoroughly research and then teach the information he has put together in a way that is easily understood by almost anyone. I give both the book and the study on the Lord’s Study my highest recommendations!
-Wiley Clarkson on the webpage: Books that I recommend on the subject of Women in the Church and Gender Equality
Every church library and concerned person should have this landmark book…. It is gratifying to have collected, collated, and documented in one book the full range of Biblical and historical data one needs to arrive at a reasoned and “revelatory” view of women’s role in the church and a better insight into male service and leadership roles also.
-Russell Boatman, The Christian Standard
Sandifer has assembled some important texts and made some significant suggestions regarding them. As we continue our discussion of this very important issue, his volume will be an important one, primariliy to remind us of where we have been and why. If it can stir us to renewed examination of the Biblical materials we may gain a clearer vision of where we ought to go.
-Tom Greer, Leaven


1. Introduction

2. Deacons Before Christianity

3. Deacon in the New Testament

4. Female Deacons in the New Testament

5. Qualities of Deacons

6. Deacons in the Post-New Testament Church.

7. Female Deacons in the Post-New Testament Church.

8. Deacons Redefined: The Reformation

9. Deaconesses Rediscovered: Kaiserswerth and Beyond

10. Deacons in the Restoration Movement

11. Female Deacons in the Restoration Movement

12. Conclusions

13. The New Testament Pattern

A. Diakonos in the New Testament

B. Deacons in Post-New Testament Literature

C. Qualifications of Elders and Deacons