Institute For Diaconate Renewal

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Christ commissioned our father, St. Francis (deacon and religious), to “go and rebuild my Church.” Following that charism, Franciscan University of Steubenville has established the Institute for Diaconate Renewal (IDR), which seeks to renew the deacon’s interior life, that bond of love with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We recognize the important and sacred responsibility that directors of formation and their associates have in selecting, forming, and sustaining the deacon. This privilege requires formators to travel the path of intimacy with God. Their witness to intimacy with Christ makes a powerful and formative impact.

The IDR is about intimacy with the Servant Heart of Christ! This captures our vision for all deacons—nurturing the primacy of the interior life as a means of integrating human and spiritual growth, identity, and mission.

Deacon Stephen F. Miletic, Ph.D.


Deacon Stephen (retreat master) has offered clergy days; led lecture-based and silent retreats and formation seminars; and taught formation for lay evangelists and catechetical leaders in schools for spiritual direction for over 25 years in the U.S., Jamaica, and Belize. He is currently professor of Scripture at Franciscan University and theology and director of the IDR.

Deacon Mark Erste, MA Theology, MBA

Associate Director

Deacon Mark (retreat coordinator) has been involved in forming deacons for the past seven years. He has also provided liturgical training for various ministries in addition to being involved in retreat and renewal work in the Church for over 35 years. He is currently director of Institutional Research at Franciscan University, associate director of the IDR, and director of Diaconal Ministries for the Diocese of Steubenville.


Institute for Diaconate Renewal Events

The Institute for Diaconate Renewal offers opportunities for the renewal and deepening of the spiritual life of the deacon.

This renewal occurs in the revitalization of the deacon’s filial relationship with the Father; the strengthening of his sacramental identity as Icon of Christ the Servant; and the deepening of his mission as one empowered by the Holy Spirit; and as one sent by the Bishop.

This renewal fosters integral human development and maturation as it addresses the universal hunger for loving intimacy with the Triune God through ongoing conversion to Christ, who came to serve and not be served (Mk. 10:45).

July 9-13, 2023

Contemplative Retreat for Deacon Directors & Formators

Be refreshed in your ministry of diaconal formation. Take the opportunity to join your fellow deacon directors in intentional time with Christ.

July 9, 2023

St. Ephrem Lecture

Participate in a conversation with Dcn. David Fagerberg on “The Interior Life of the Deacon and Those to Whom He Ministers.”

This lecture is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Bishop Shawn W. McKnight, STD.


June 5, 2022

J. Allan Mitchell Lecture

Watch the recording of the lecture given by Dcn. James Keating on June 5, 2022: “Deacons as Guardians and Promoters of the Animating Mystery of Christ.” Download the transcript here.

To contact us, schedule a consultation, or learn more about the Institute for Diaconate Renewal

[email protected]


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