Educating the African American Church Towards Those with Disabilities
EDUCATING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCH TOWARDS THOSE
WITH DISABILITIES TO HAVE AN ATTITUDINAL CHANGE.
A PROJECT THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF APEX SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF MINISTRY IN BIBLICAL STUDIES
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
This researcher designed a simplified replicable model that examined beliefs, and behaviors of an African-American faith community towards adults with disabilities. This research is a pilot of a multi-modal approach to incorporating members with disabilities into an inclusive context by educating parishioners about disabilities and abilities while presenting the content from a faith-based perspective. The model comprises a series of three sermonic presentations, followed by a congregational survey, focus groups, and educational workshops, a webinar, and community outreach events. The results of the survey research, focus groups, educational workshops, webinar, and community outreach events will be discussed in this presentation. Additionally, this research will consider ways in which ministry to and with those who are often marginalized in our society can amplify the shared experiences of members within faith communities.
The study’s findings support that there is an ongoing need for advocacy for individuals with mental health challenges who attend urban churches, as well as a need for continued, raised awareness about the social stigma these individuals encounter. Stigma has complex roots in society and often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Stigma complicates the process of recovery for patients for many reasons and it also interferes with people’s willingness to seek professional help due to a fear of being labeled, misunderstood, or judged as having a lack of faith. Moreover, the project included men and women of all ages, diverse racial, ethnic and religious lines, many economic levels, faith-based communities, mental health agencies, stakeholders, service providers, community members, and individuals/families with mental illness.
A research project completed as part of an postgraduate doctoral degree. A dissertation affords the scholar an opportunity during a doctorate program to contribute new knowledge, theories or practices to their field. The point is to come up with an entirely new concept, develop it and defend its worth.
Dr. Robinson's innovative dissertation was recently published on ProQuest.
ProQuest is a collection of many scholarly research databases that provide access to thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers, dissertations, and other publications.
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