1 Timothy 3:1 inspires us to see spiritual leadership as a privilege. The offices of deacon, deaconess and elder are nominated and elected by church members who exercise the privilege and responsibility of activating new leaders through nominations.
Using the form below, nominate a member of Redeemer East Harlem who is compassionate and wise, and who desires to care for or lead others.
You can submit nominations above. If you have questions, contact Pastor Justin at
All nominees will be initially screened for membership and Christian experience requirements. If the nominee qualifies under both categories, they will receive a letter confirming their nomination and the process to follow. Included in that letter will be:
a four-page questionnaire that must be filled out and returned by a deadline,
a request for two reference letters to attest to the person’s spiritual maturity, leadership and service experience.
Once the questionnaire is completed, a personal interview will be scheduled with the nominee and two deacons or deaconesses to discuss the appropriateness and timing of their nomination. Nominees will begin theological training in January once they have been recommended. The reference letters are also used in this determination process.
After the theological training, a second personal interview and a group theological and doctrinal interview takes place. The Session then votes on each nominee. All nominees who are approved to stand for election will then be voted on by the congregation. Nominees who are voted in are then installed in May, begin their term in June for an initial three-year term.
Qualifications requirements for all nominees
For deacon and deaconess: Nominees should have been a Christian for at least three years. They should also be an active Redeemer member.
Qualifications to consider
Membership: Nominees should have been a Christian for at least three years and an active member of the church.
Calling: Calling is both inward and outward. A candidate should desire to serve and should be recognized by others as possessing the gifts and graces necessary for the role.
Character: Though no leader can expect to be perfect, he or she must be exemplary, modeling in a consistent way the character of Christ. 1 Timothy 3 8-13 offers a useful summary of the character qualifications.
Competency: God calls deacons and deaconesses to serve in distinct and varying ways. Deacon and deaconess candidates should demonstrate a practical and caring spirit. They should be willing to serve under the authority of the elders and in such a way as to free the elders to focus on their particular responsibilities. Deacons and deaconesses pray for individuals after services on Sundays, assist elders in membership interviews, assist elders in examining deacon and deaconess candidates, and advocate and care for those in need.
Compatibility: Candidates need to understand and align with Redeemer East Harlem's vision, mission, and values.
Comprehension: Candidates need to understand and accept Redeemer East Harlem's convictions about theology and church government. This involves commitment to the Bible’s authority, to the Presbyterian form of church government, and to the Westminster standards.
Training begins in January of each year with the theological and doctrinal class. Both Diaconate and elder nominees attend this training class together. It is taught by teaching elders.
After the conclusion of theological training deacon and deaconess nominees attend a practical skills training class. These classes occur in March and April of each year. Diaconate nominee training is held on Saturdays.
If a nominee is unable to continue with the nomination process due to time constraints or other life circumstances, they may defer their nomination for up to one year. If the nominee is unable to move forward with the process within the year, they will need to be renominated at a later date.