Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

Summer Institute on Theology and Disability Header

The Summer Institute on Theology and Disability (SITD) brings together academics, theologians, practitioners and others—people with and without labeled disabilities—to explore the inclusive intersections of theology and disabilities. Founded in 2010 through a project funded by the Pennsylvania Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Summer Institute is led by Bill Gaventa and a group of core faculty including Hans Reinders, John Swinton, Tom Reynolds, Amos Yong, Erik Carter and Jeremy Schipper. The Bethesda Institute is now the primary and organizing sponsor of this international and, increasingly interfaith annual event. Entering its sixth year, the Summer Institute creates a significant space for thought-and-practice leadership in this rapidly growing arena of theology and disability.


2015 Summer Institute on Theology and DisabilityThe 2015 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability will be in Atlanta, May 26-29, hosted by The Center for Leadership in Disability, School of Public Health, Georgia State University.

2016 Institute on Theology and DisabilityThe 2016 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability will be hosted by Western Theological Seminary and Hope College in Holland, Michigan, May 23-26.

Featured 2014 Presentation

“Churches already have the capacity to help members flourish in all aspects of life. This is a Human Needs Ministry not a Special Needs Ministry. Jobs, homes, friends, a way to contribute and share gifts—this is quite ordinary, not special. Let’s look at what we all share in common.”

-- Erik Carter, Ph.D., “The Other Six Days”
Plenary Speaker, 2014 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability


2014 SITD

Some 200 full- and part-time participants enjoyed the 2014 Summer Institute, June 16-20, Dallas. Hosted by the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and Highland Park United Methodist Church, the Bethesda Institute also collaborated with the Faith Inclusion Network of Dallas, sponsor of the June 19-20 closing event. In addition to morning plenary sessions and afternoon workshops, the 2014 event introduced three four-day courses and a seminar for Ph.D. students.

2014 Day-by-Day Schedule
2014 Video Presentations
2014 Video Links
2014 Recorded Speakers
2014 Workshops and Courses
2014 Theme
2014 Sponsors


Treasure a Click Away

This site is the repository for the video recordings of plenary sessions from all past Institutes. Click here to explore this amazing resource with presentations from a wide variety of theological disciplines.

Join the Conversation

Like the Institute on Theology and Disability Facebook page for year-round updates. Use #SITD to identify and scan for related tweets.


For further information, email or call 920-206-4483.

© 2014 Bethesda Institute
600 Hoffmann Drive, Watertown, WI 53094 Phone: 800.369.4636