The newly established Wheaton Center for Faith and Disability is anchored in the College’s biblical commitments of Imago Dei – ALL are created in the Image of God, and Missio Dei – ALL have a God-given purpose in and for Christ and His Kingdom.
Until recent decades, those born with genetically atypical diagnoses, degenerative diseases, or those unable to contribute to socio-economic growth because of a disabling accident, mental illness, or disability have traditionally been ascribed lessor value, honor, and purpose. Stigmatization, segregation, and mistreatment were often the case. Unfortunately, Christians have also been guilty of this worldview. But Jesus turns this paradigm upside down!
The Imago and Missio Dei so beautifully illustrated in Paul's body analogy in 1 Corinthians 12 have huge potential for how we view typically-abled members and those whose abilities do not fit within what is typically considered "normal." If the image of God includes all--regardless of ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status or ability level, and all have God-ordained value and purpose, then we have an opportunity (and obligation!) to explore what it means to honor and receive the gifts of those with disabilities.
The Center for Faith and Disability seeks to make engagement with disability-related issues more biblical, normative and transformative for those with and without disabilities in our efforts to make disciples of Jesus the Messiah through our support of schools and congregations, so all may flourish.
Thank you for contributing to the important work of laying this foundation!