Faith and Disability Inclusion Program

Faith and Disabilities

University Christian Church desires to not only include and welcome all regardless of disability, but also seeks to equip all faith communities with the resources to become truly accessible. Learn more about our major resource guide below, or contact Topher Endress for training opportunities.

Accessible Congregations Manual
Accessible Congregations: A Theological and Practical Guide to Disabilities for Faith Communities is a ~200 page resource designed to equip your congregation with the tools necessary to become a truly inclusive and accessible place of worship for all impacted by disabilities. Contained within are useful definition and framework guides, practical tools for educating those with disabilities, information on social issues and advocacy, and theology that addresses the unique role that disabilities play in the Christian world. This manual is intentionally designed to be used by church groups – Sunday School classes, staff, deacons, or any group that wishes to learn more intentionally about how to truly welcome.

Churches cannot simply rely on ministers or staff to run the show – a truly accessible congregation is one in which all people are valued and desired by all who attend. Accessible Congregations is designed to lead corporate culture change. You’ll find that most information contained within is meant to invoke conversation and encourage dialogue. Unlike other books on disabilities and the church (many of which are excellent and strongly recommended for individuals), this guide won’t teach a minister how to make sweeping changes. Rather, this invites the whole congregation to learn together, to process, to ask questions, and to decide for themselves how to shift their organizational and cultural mentalities in ways that more naturally invite people with disabilities – and their families and friends – into a fuller experience of the church.

Churches are much like barges. It may take a while, but a barge can make major shift in direction. If it is to be useful, it has to. But a moving a barge takes all hands on deck. In fact, most are actually get pushed through their tight turns by tugboats, which partner along the massive barges to ensure that everyone makes the right switch. Think of this manual as the tugboat that helps you make that turn. What’s around the bend for you church is a more welcoming, more engaged, and more informed congregation.

The information in this manual is designed for communal engagement, and so is the manual itself. Rather than asking churches/organizations to get a copy for every person in a small group, we encourage you to order just 1 for yourself and distribute copies as needed. PDF versions or alternate text docs for those using screen readers can be available on request. We want this information to be useful, and will happily work with you to provide the most appropriate form that your teams and groups can access. We encourage a donation of $45 to help cover costs. Any additional amounts will in turn will be donated to SHARE, a Texas-based family service that provides parent and sibling care for families of disabilities. Learn more here. This work is copyrighted, and we ask that you not share copies outside of your church.