The Faith and Disability Inclusion Program is an educational ministry of University Christian Church, offering materials and training to other faith communities in an effort to increase their capacities for inclusion. Major issues include defining disabilities, theological questions, and practical inclusion tips.
Persons and families with disabilities, who make up nearly 20% of the US population, are among the least likely to attend church despite reporting high levels of desire to do so. Churches, whether they host a special needs ministry or not, must equip themselves with a theologically-grounded framework in order to move from access to welcome to inclusion for that community – not merely making their services open, but allowing the presence of people with disabilities to impact who and what the church is. This training is designed to help church staff/leaders understand the nature of disabilities, develop practical and theological questions for their community, and take another step along the path of inclusion. The training runs 2.5 hours and was designed by Rev. Topher Endress (University Christian Church, Associate Minister and Faith and Disability Inclusion Program Manager).
To schedule a training session or to learn more, contact Topher Endress
Example Sheet: Language and Disabilities
Example Sheet: Princinples of Disabled Theology
Who should be invited/included in this training? Any staff or lay leader who works directly with families/individuals in a ministry role, and any person providing guiding theology for the church.
The training is designed to deepen understandings of what a disability is, and what a disability means theologically, and therefore is applicable to those who make decisions about how to best care for families, members, and visitors. A majority of people with disabilities will not find themselves in a specific disability ministry within any given church, which means that ministers/pastors, theologians, teachers, and program managers must be equipped to serve those with disabilities well.
View example training sheets to the left.