Certificate in Disability Ministry (CDM)

Contact: kljones@united.edu

United Theological Seminary’s Certificate in Disability Ministry (CDM) is designed for church leaders, pastors and lay people interested or involved in ministry with people with disabilities. This non-degree certificate program combines academic instruction, practical mentoring and contextual placements to shape and equip people for effective ministry.

In three accredited seminary online courses, with a weekly class and one (non-compulsory but recommended) intensive, students will engage disability through a Christian perspective. At the end of each semester, a one-day face-to-face intensive will be offered on campus at United. During the final semester, a three-day intensive on “Disability: Theory and Practice” will be offered. While students are strongly encouraged to attend the intensives, adjustments will be made for those unable to participate in person.*

Alternating with the academic classes, students will participate in regular instructor-led training in practical ministry, with topics such as learning disabilities, sensory impairments, mental health, dementia and Deaf ministry. From the outset, students will be personally matched with a mentor, with whom they will have regular supervisions throughout the program.

Students will also learn to apply their growing theological knowledge in a ministry placement. Students will be expected to spend the equivalent of an hour a fortnight in disability ministry within their community.

Guest lecturers include world experts in the field, such as:

It is anticipated that most students will devote one hour a week to class material (lecture one week, discussion on practical ministry the next), and around four hours outside of class (placement, reading and assignments). At the conclusion of the course, students will receive a Certificate of Completion at the Seminary’s commencement ceremony.


* Distance learning students who are unable to make the one-day or three-day intensives will be offered alternative methods for completing this portion of the course. United is committed to making this course accessible to all students, and encourages those with concerns about the delivery and course accessibility to make contact with the course coordinator.

Kirsty Jones,
Coordinator for the Certificate Program in Disability Ministry