serving together

Norway: Bergen Diakonissehjem

Bergen Deaconess Foundation Group (Stiftelsen Bergen Diakonissehjem Group) is an independent non-profit group within the Church of Norway, and was established in 1918 (1879) with the objective to promote Christian care by nurturing and educating people to provide services for the sick and others in need of help and care.

Phone: 55 97 96 00
Address: Ulriksdal 8, 5009 Bergen

Mission statement: People shall experience competence,warmth and understanding when using our services.

Activities comprise: two hospitals, a university college, a youth care welfare centre, a centre for counselling and a guesthouse. There are about 1200 employees and 120 volunteers work in the institutions.

Haraldsplass Deaconess Hospital has been established as a limited company and is wholly owned by Bergen Deaconess Foundation Group. This hospital is the second largest in Bergen and treats approximately 14,500 inpatients and 15,800 outpatients annually. Bergen Deaconess Foundation Group also owns 50% of Solli Psychiatric Hospital.

University college
Haraldsplass Deaconess University College is owned by Bergen Deaconess Foundation Group. The college offers Bachelor of nursing and further education in Counseling, Palliative care, Home care and Emergency care. The college has attached to it some 500 students, 260 of whom undertake Bachelor of nursing.

Garnes Child Care Institution is a long-term child welfare institution providing places for 15 adolescents with social difficulties.

Spiritual guidance and Retreat
The centre for spiritual guidance (Sjelesorgsenteret) provides spiritual counseling, teaching in spiritual guidance and retreat.

Diakonifellesskapet (the Diaconal Society) is an organized Christian, professional and cultural fellowship which helps provides strength and inspiration to us in our faith and in the services we provide. There are 234 members (2015).

Diakoni – caring Christian service
Diakoni, or caring Christian service, has been called the church’s body language. The Greek word, which comes from the New Testament, describes caring services for people in need of help. This is expressed in many different ways: its cornerstone is that individuals, you and I, should care about our fellow men and not just ourselves. In the document setting out the foundation’s values, the Bible story about the Good Samaritan is used as the best practical example of such caring service. It means demonstrating through our actions that God cares about us.

Other information to be collected includes (but is not limited to) the following questions.


A brief history (may include links to documents and websites) – how did it all get started? What are the key dates and events? Are there documents that are part of the history (please specify)?


Diaconal ministry agents: consecretrated/commissioned/ordained/other?

Title: Sister, Deaconess, Deacon, Rev, etc


Historical information and dates re formation/recognition of diaconal ministry agents in the denomination/church agency.


Does the diaconal ministry agent wear a distinctive uniform? Are diaconal ministry agents able to be married? Are they remunerated? Do they live in community (eg motherhouse) or independently? Etc.


What kind of training/formation do diaconal ministry agents receive before formal recognition in their church. Are there expectations of ongoing training, or professional development? If yes, what is expected and how often does it happen?


How many diaconal ministry agents are there currently in the denomination or church agency? Any comment on trends in numbers?


Are there key people (historical or current) in the organization who have provided significant leadership. Any weblinks to their story, or a short write up?


Who are the current leaders in the diaconal association? (photos, ‘blurb’).


Relationship of diaconal ministry agents to a denomination/church agency


An overview of main responsibilities for diaconal ministry agents (past and present). Are they located within a church, a particular facility or agency, or community based? Are diaconal ministry agents appointed to individual placements or work together on projects or in institutions?


Are diaconal ministry agents able to preside at sacraments (communion, baptism, weddings etc)?


Who makes the appointments for diaconal ministry agents eg they apply for positions, they are appointed (eg by a Bishop, by the conference office, or another body/committee).


Is there a length of time for appointments (eg usually less than 5 years, usually between 5 and 10 years, at the discretion of the diaconal ministry agent or at the discretion of the appointing body), appointed to and remain with a particular mother house, etc.


Do diaconal ministry agents organize conferences, seminars, gatherings for professional development, pastoral peer support etc? How often and what is the nature of these events?


Key issues and challenges in the contemporary ministry context


Do the diaconal ministry agents have ‘code of conduct’ or ‘code of ethics’ that inform ethical and behavioral expectations for ministry?


Key documents (historical, vision and mission etc) – links or PDF or Word files




Links to relevant articles, websites etc


Other areas of interest……


(information to Rev Sandy Boyce, President, DIAKONIA World Federation,, to upload to this website)