Long-neglected Disability Courses Gaining Popularity

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Aug. 12, 2010
  • In the Media

Joni and Friends reaches the world with 'Beyond Suffering'

Because it is a topic that no one seems to want to talk about, studies in the area of disability and suffering have long been neglected in academia. However, Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability (CID) has set out to change that, and is succeeding in creating a movement in this field.

“We just completed our largest course yet, called ‘Beyond Suffering,’ and are looking at expanding to two summer sessions next year,” said course instructor and CID Managing Director Steve Bundy.
“Our goal is to transform the view many Christians have about disability ministry,” Bundy continues. “We’re finding a hunger among the students, as well as leaders, to understand God’s plan for suffering, which is creating a grass-roots disability ministry movement around the world. This year alone we’ve led courses in seven countries.”

Held for the third year at the Joni and Friends International Disability Center headquarters in Southern California, this summer’s course was attended by 53 students representing 16 states and four countries. The class size overflowed the facility’s training space, prompting the discussion about a second offering of the course next year. 

The 32-hour course was taught by the Rev. Steve Bundy, Dr. Jeff McNair, Dr. Kathy McReynolds and the Rev. James Rene and included: 1) Overview of Disability Ministry, 2) Theology of Suffering and Disability, 3) The Church and Disability Ministry, and 4) Introduction to Bioethics. Students who complete the assignments and practicum receive a Certification in Disability Ministry from the CID.

In addition to the annual summer offering of the course at Joni and Friends, the CID has partnered with several universities and seminaries in developing curricula for similar courses around the country, including Biola and Liberty Universities and Dallas Theological Seminary. In 2011, “Beyond Suffering: Christian Views on Disability Ministry” will be offered by several Joni and Friends area offices and eventually, on-line.


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I am so excited because in a few weeks I will have a masters in Disability Policy from CBU and I am so excited to see where God leads me and how I could impact those with disabilities .I would love to attend the 2012 course.
  • April 11, 2012
  • 8:31 p.m.
  • Jennifer Baca
I have been taking time to read about Disability Courses and I am very much interested. Do you offer tuition. I would like to proceed but need to know because I am on a budget. Thank you very much and be Bless.
  • Jan. 12, 2012
  • 6:55 a.m.
  • Evelina
This was a life changing course!!
  • Aug. 13, 2010
  • 11:38 p.m.
  • Pam Baldwin
Hi, Joni I can't wait for that course to become available!! I was recently a student in the course "The Theology of Disability and Suffering," at Liberty University, taught by Dr. McReynolds. It was truely a memorable experience in every way. Keep up the great work! God bless! -Jennifer Johnson
  • Aug. 12, 2010
  • 2:49 p.m.
  • Jennifer Johnson