a woman chosen to assist in the church ministry; specifically : one in a Protestant order.(Merriman-Webster Dict.).A deaconess school, such as Ewart, offered training and opportunities for women who wished to make Church work their vocation. In the early days, deaconesses worked as social workers and evangelists in slum areas "often appointed to tasks for which it did not seem economically feasible to use men." (Grant, 58) See Alison Kemper's essay "Deaconess as Urban Missionary and Ideal Woman" in Canadian Protestant and Catholic Missions
Deaconess (and also deacon) comes from a Greek word diakonos (Î´Î¹Î±ÎºÎ¿Î½Î¿Ï‚). This Greek word means a servant or helper and occurs frequently in the Christian New Testament of the Bible and is sometimes applied to Christ himself.