The law includes with clerics, monks, deaconesses, nuns, ascetics; and the word " clerics " covered persons in minor orders, down to doorkeepers.
The church officers (generally unpaid) comprise bishops (or ministers), elders, teachers, deacons (or visiting brethren) and deaconesses - chiefly aged women who are permitted at times to take leading parts in church services.
Deaconesses in the East received the imposition of the bishop's hands, but could not ascend to the priesthood.
The beginning of the modern system dates from the foundation of the institute for training deaconesses at Kaiserswerth by Pastor Fliedner in 1836.
On the continent institutes for nursing deaconesses were founded at Strassburg, Utrecht, Berlin, Breslau, Konigsberg and Carlsruhe between 1842 and 1851.