2014 Archives

SMU Perkins School of Theology hosts
Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

Perkins Prof. Jaime Clark-Soles at a 2014 TEDxSMU event

May 13, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in partnership with the Bethesda Institute of Watertown, Wisconsin, Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, and the Faith Inclusion Network (FIND) of Dallas, is sponsoring the Fifth Annual Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, June 16–20, 2014, in Dallas, Texas.

The theme of this year’s event is “Caring Theologically and Thinking Pastorally: Disability as a Critical Question and Questioner.”

According to William Gaventa, director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, “We will explore the intersections between disability and theology, which calls for thought-full and care-full negotiation, grounded in the real lives of people with disabilities and their families. This event is vital,” Gaventa adds, “because research and writing in theology and disability needs to come from and address all of the theological disciplines.”

Known for engaging speakers, rich times for interaction, discussion and networking, the Summer Institute encompasses a wide diversity of participants, including theologians, clergy, congregational and ministry leaders, disability leaders, people with disabilities, family members, professionals in other disciplines, and seminary students. The Institute includes times for morning and afternoon reflection and meditation, a Cooperative Resource Exhibit, and shared meals.

Plenary speakers for 2014 include Jaime Clark-Soles, associate professor of New Testament at Perkins School of Theology, along with Amos Yong, Helen Betenbaugh, Darla Schumm, Ben Conner, Judith Snow, and Stanley Hauerwas. They will join the ongoing Summer Institute faculty: Hans Reinders, John Swinton, Erik Carter, Jeremy Schipper, Tom Reynolds and Bill Gaventa.

Summer Institute faculty will lead three four-day courses, including a Ph.D. seminar, for seminarians, graduate students, and a limited number of auditors.

In collaboration with the Faith Inclusion Network of Dallas, under the auspices of Jewish Family Service, Friday, June 20, will be a stand-alone event for full-session and single-session participants, especially those in the wider Dallas area interested in supporting inclusive ministries and congregational supports.

While June 2 is the deadline to register, hotel reservations must be made by May 16 in order to qualify for the group discount.


ŸMore information about


Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Church Ministries, and Doctor of Ministry, as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Media Contacts:

Rev. Connie Nelson
Perkins Director of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations

Dr. Tim McLemore
Perkins Associate Director of Public Affairs