Disabilities, Religion and Spirituality Program

  • Provides disability-related training to current and future religious and spiritual leaders and educators
  • Supports individuals with disabilities and their families as they give expression to their religion or spirituality
  • Encourages disability service providers to consider the religious and spiritual interests of the individuals they serve

Program Activities

  • Developing ecumenical educational materials
  • Conducting research
  • Sharing best practices
  • Providing disability-related theological field education internship opportunities for future religious leaders and educators
  • Hosting lectures and workshops
  • Developing community partnerships to support inclusive religious and spiritual practices


  • Visit Tennessee Disability Pathfinder and search the religion and spirituality section. There are resources for individuals and families, religious leaders and educators, and disability service providers.
  • The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center UCEDD is a member and leader of the National Collaborative on Faith and Disability. The mission of the Collaborative is to support people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them by providing national and international leadership in the areas of research, education, service, and dissemination related to disability, religion, and inclusive supports.
  • Bill Gaventa and Safiyyah Muhammed Interviewed by PBS for Faith Communities and Disability
    Elizabeth M. Boggs Center faculty Bill Gaventa, Director and Community and Congregational Supports, and CAC member Safiyyah Muhammed were interviewed by PBS on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly regarding their role in Creating Room in God’s House, a bonus feature on the Praying with Lior DVD.
  • Tennessee Disability Coalition-Etiquette and Talking about Disability Brochures
    Resources provided by the Tennessee Disability Coalition regarding Etiquette and Talking about Disability.
  • We continue to gather local and national programmatic resources to share with individuals with disabilities and their families and with religious and lay leaders. We want to know about your community. Do you know of religious/spiritual resources in Tennessee that may be useful for individuals and families, disability service providers, and/or religious and lay leaders? Send them to erik.carter@vanderbilt.edu.


  • To make a donation that will allow the VKC UCEDD to further develop activities in these areas, please visit the Giving page of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center website. Specify that your gift go to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Disabilities, Religion, and Spirituality program.

For more information contact:

Erik Carter, Ph.D.