Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Serving people with intellectual disabilities: A comparative investigation of the perception of family caregivers and Kansas Ministry Network credential holders
by Miller, Marvin J., D.Min., Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2016, 288; 10100500
Abstract (Summary)

In recent years, church leaders have struggled to integrate persons with disabilities and their family caregivers into the regular life of the church. A misunderstanding of the disability culture combined with a lack of resources and volunteers effectively curtail ministry efforts for successful integration and inclusion for persons with disabilities.

This comparative investigative study of both clergy and family caregivers of persons with intellectual disability provides an initial foundation for clergy to envision effective ministry in mutual relationship. This project surveyed eighty-four Assemblies of God Kansas Ministry Network credential holding clergy members as well as thirty-six adult family caregivers of persons with disability. The survey also asked each group to predict the response of the other.

The research suggests the following: (1) clergy members have little awareness of their discrepancies between claimed theology and supportive practice, (2) both clergy and caregivers require additional opportunities to develop mutual understanding, (3) very few churches attempt inclusionary practice or intentional targeted outreach in comparison to the prevalence of disability, (4) congregations can successfully implement some level of disability ministry despite their size or status, and (5) churches would benefit by collaborating with existing local social agencies.

Local pastors can build bridges alongside those within the disability community to further inclusion and create co-laborers for the work of the gospel.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yong, Amos, Oss, Doug
Commitee: Gill, Debbie, Olena, Lois, Oleson, Ava, Oss, Doug, Taylor, Cheryl, Walls, Randy
School: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
Department: Doctor of Ministry
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Biblical studies, Social research
Keywords: Church and disability, Clergy perceptions, Disability theology, Family caregivers, Intellectual disability, Religious special education
Publication Number: 10100500
ISBN: 9781339644110
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