A Vision for Disability and Ministry

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In this episode, we speak with Dr. Erin Raffety (MDiv '08), PCUSA pastor and researcher, about her work with persons with disabilities in the church, and how she seeks to use her research to inform deeper, richer pastoral care and conversation within congregations. Erin's goal is to take seriously the voices, experiences, and contributions of people with disabilities in order to enable the church to connect with, learn from, and better minister to people with disabilities.

Dr. Erin Raffety (she/her) is a practical theologian who uses ethnographic research methods to study congregations. At the Center of Theological Inquiry, Erin is the Research Fellow in machine intelligence and pastoral care, where she studies how artificial intelligence and video game technology can support spiritual connection for people with disabilities and congregations. She is also the Empirical Research Consultant for the Imagining Church Project and the Associate Research Scholar for the Institute for Youth Ministry, both at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her book, From Inclusion to Justice: Why Christian Congregations Need Disabled Ministry and Leadership, will be published this year with Baylor University Press. Erin is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Princeton University, and is a proud parent of a daughter with multiple disabilities.

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