Certificate in Accessible Ministry Module 6: Disability, Suffering, and the Pastoral Imagination

Event Date(s): Sat, 2018/03/24 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Event Type: Tyndale Spiritual Formation Centre

Saturday March 24, 2018

Online registration now open. You can buy tickets at the bottom of this page, or register on Eventbrite.

Disability and suffering share a complicated and convoluted history. Too often, it is assumed that people with disabilities are suffering their disability, and yet for many people disability is more closely related to who they are as a person than to suffering. Hear first-hand perspectives of multiple ways to relate to suffering, and come away from this module with a renewed appreciation for theologies and pastoral practices that leave space for suffering and yet always practice gracious presence with people with disabilities and those that suffer.


Chantal Huinink

Chantal HuininkChantal Huinink is a motivational speaker, author, and social justice advocate who lives with cerebral palsy. Chantal is completing a double-masters in Divinity and Social Work through Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She holds a BA in Psychology and Human Development from the University of Guelph and a certificate in Disability Ministry from the International Disability Center in California. Chantal currently serves as Coordinator of Organizational and Spiritual Life with Christian Horizons, and is a certified trainer of Joni and Friends Beyond Suffering curriculum. Chantal is especially passionate about fostering the faith development of people with ‘disabilities’ because of the impact faith has had on her life.

Module Outline

9:00am: Welcome

  • Introduce presenter, participants
  • Course objectives


  • What drew you to this course?
  • What are you hoping to learn today?

9:15am: Session 1: The tensions of disability and suffering

  • Grief, loss, and the experience of disability
  • “If you’ve met one person…” Theologies and practices that listen.

Video: Disability from the point of view of disability as suffering

11:00am: Session 2: Beyond suffering

Drawing insight from Joni and Friends, this session explores potential reasons why disability and suffering happens, and appropriate responses to people who experience disability and suffering.

Personal exercise: Participants reflect on their own personal journeys through suffering and its relation to the human condition.

1:30pm: Session 3: Renewing the pastoral imagination

What could it mean for disability to not primarily relate to suffering but to the limits each person experiences as a part of being a human being created in the image of God?

Activity: Becoming human: Participants get into groups to explore human limitation, vulnerability, and the gifts that come from these.

Video: Jean Vanier

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