Deborah Creamer and Bill Gaventa
Rev. Bill Gaventa is discussing. Toggle Comments
Theological Education Workshop
• Disability studies and theological education
• How to move it through the seminary
• Access issues and supports (visible and invisible)
• Seminary survey that Naomi Annandale is doing this year.
• Theological education: Just what is effective theological education?
• Not just in one discipline, but try to infuse in all.
• On line options?
• How to get a foot in the door into seminaries
• Once a pastor gets behind something, it is a go.
• Participant with disability: I was chastised by pastor, challenged for lack of belief.
• Experiences with disability, e.g., L’Arche attendants, are bringing people to seminary
• What are same curricula?
• Remember Clinical Pastoral Education Programs and other training programs for religious leaders outside of the seminary
• Families and churches- marginalized, peeled away, tired.
• Work at Iliff in three directions
Association of Theological Schools has a policy on disability. Not a requirement or standard for accreditation but recommended best practice. That can be downloaded from the ATS website. It can be a tool to use when talking to a seminary about initiatives that would help a seminary demonstrate what it has done when it comes time for ten year reaccreditation.
Recommended resource: series of videotape presentations by Wolf Wolfensberger.
Bill Gaventa: Issue is trying to help infuse disability issues and perspectives into all of the theological disciplines. Part of the purpose of the Summer Institute is to build up library of audio and video resources that relate to a variety of disciplines. Seminary professors may not know of the work being done in their particular area. Key is show how their particular interests and work applies to, and can make a contribution to, the work being done in theology and disability. Or, in other words, use an asset based approach, not one criticizing seminary or faculty for what they are not doing. Lots of pressure in and on seminaries to include multiple things in what is really a short three year process.
Available from Bill Gaventa: Samples of course curricula, resource lists for seminary libraries, online resources and lectures suitable for seminary and other training programs. All of the audiofiles from the first two Summer Institutes on Theology and Disability are downloadable from The Boggs Center’s website and both audio and videotapes of the plenary lectures for the SI in Chicago, 2012, will be online.
There are multiple options within seminaries for infusion: a course, modules in courses, independent studies, continuing education events, summer institutes, seminary wide seminars outside of regular classes, guest lectures, field education placements that can be developed in agencies supporting people with disabilities, guest preachers in chapel, etc. Lancaster Theological Seminary does a Disability Awareness Week each year. The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia has drafted outcomes in the area of inclusion for their seminary graduates.
A key part of courses that Bill G has taught has been hearing from people with disabilities and their families, and having each student in a relationship with one person with a disability for the duration of the course in which the person with a disability serves as a mentor to the student, not someone to whom the student is supposed to minister unto.
The Boggs Center (Bill) and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (Erik Carter and Courtney Evans Taylor) have started a new national Collaborative on Disability, Religion, and Inclusive Spiritual Supports with nine other University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities who have done, are doing, or hope to do initiatives in spiritual supports and working with seminaries in their respective states. Those states include Texas, Colorado, Montana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, Maine, Missouri, and Virginia. This is just getting off the ground. If you are working with seminaries in your state or denomination, encourage them to be in touch with the UCEDD in their respective state to explore collaboration. Both seminaries and UCEDD’s have missions of training, technical assistance, research, product development, and dissemination (to use the UCEDD language) Our hope is that we can infuse disability in one direction and awareness and skills about spiritual and religious supports in the other. Contact Erik Carter or Bill Gaventa for more information. To see a listing of the UCEDD’s, go to http://www.AUCD.org
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