Summer Institute on Theology and Disability History

Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

The Summer Institute on Theology and Disability began in Pennsylvania as part of a Faith Community Leadership Project funded by the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council, coordinated by Rev. Bill Gaventa at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The first two Summer Institutes (2010 and 2011) were sponsored in collaboration with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The third Summer Institute on Theology and Disability was held in Chicago in 2012 at Catholic Theological Union with sponsorship by the Bethesda Institute, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago Theological Seminary and the Arc of Illinois. It was endorsed by the Association of Theological Schools and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

The third Summer Institute on Theology and Disability was held in Chicago in 2012 at Catholic Theological Union with sponsorship by the Bethesda Institute, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago Theological Seminary and the Arc of Illinois. It was endorsed by the Association of Theological Schools and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

In 2013, the Summer Institute was held at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto in Canada. The event was distinguished by a strong interfaith emphasis with presenters from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions.

The 2014 event, held on the campus of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, had reached its highest number of registrants and a diverse array of options for participation. In addition to the morning plenary sessions and additional workshops, three four-day course options and a PhD seminar were offered. The Faith Inclusion Network of Dallas (FIND) served as host and sponsor for Weaving Inclusion into Our Faith Communities, a full-day symposium for practitioners and family members was embedded into the Summer Institute week. Over 200 people participated in some or all of the weeklong event.

With a growing list of scholars and attendees representing cultures and faith traditions from around the world, along with a growing number of participants with disabilities, the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability has become one of the most significant events of its kind. As the primary and organizing sponsor, the Bethesda Institute is proud to bring you this annual event. Equally important is our commitment to host the online repository of all past presentations.

 

David Morstad
Senior Fellow
Bethesda Institute

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