Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network


Regional Cordinator: Ye Ja Lee

Through the assistance of the Conference of Churches of Asia, EDAN was involved in the establishment of the Asian Ecumenical Network of People with Disabilities as the network of persons with disabilities in Asia region.

The first Consultation in Asia took place after the meeting in Kenya of 2003. The meeting was held jointly by EDAN-ETE-BTESSC in October 2004 in Bangalore hosted by the United Theological College. In that meeting, the participants came up with 2 draft curicullums one for infusion and the other for a stand alone course for submission to the Senate of Serampore College (University) which is the only University in India that offers theological degrees. Altogether fifty colleges and Federated Faculties from all over India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh are affiliated to this university and it reaches over to 10,000 students in English and major regional languages. The Senate of Sermapore University approved the two curricula in and is currently being offered to ministerial students.  

The Senate operates its programmes through three centres – (a) The Registrar office at Serampore located in Serampore looks after the academic matters, (b) The South Asia Theological Research Institute (SATHRI) located in Bangalore looks after the Research Programme of the University, and (c) The Senate Centre for Extension and Pastoral Theological Research (SCEPTRE) located in Kolkata looks after the Extension Programmes and non-formal ministerial formation programs of the churches. There have been a series of theological dialogue and exchange organized in different places to gather the needs of diverse section of society on the issue of disability among theological scholars, lecturers and students organised by SCEPTRE to create awareness, strengthen the disability course the Senate program of Disability discourse, equip theological teachers on disability concerns and provide skill to pastors towards building church for all.

The First Workshop in Myanmar was held in November 2011 where 37 participants drawn from 18 major theological institutions accredited by Association for Theological Education in Myanmar (ATEM) and friends from NGO. The participants agreed that integrating Disability Discourse into their existing curricula/coming up with a new and distinct course was a pressing need. To achieve this a follow-up seminar on the course was requested which led to The Second Workshop which focused on Teachers’ Training or teaching methodology on the subject where participants from the first workshop were invited and new participants from member schools and colleagues from NGO too. This workshop developed a strategy on how to include disability discourse in theological institutions and developed A curriculum and guidelines for introducing disability studies in theological institutions while at the same time, identified the faculty to teach the subject. resource materials were produced and printed into a book for teaching as the first one is insufficient.  

The National Council of Churches of India who organized a theological roundtable at which 32 participants who were theologically trained persons with disabilities, ordained ministers with disabilities, representatives of the organizations which are ministering the persons with disabilities, disability advocates, theologians, theological educators and church leaders representing 19 institutions such as Member Churches, All India Christian Organizations, Regional Councils and Theological Institutions in India. The roundtable proposed that church encourages ordained ministry for those with disability as the history of the church and church leadership has not been inclusive of those with disability and that the ecumenical and church-based Conferences, consultations, seminars and studies on disability should move beyond ‘event’ mode and be converted into an effective movement.

Disability Theological Discourse consultations for East Asia involved participants from the Church leaders, faculty staff of theological institutions and Disabled People’s Organization (DPOs) from Korea and Indonesia. 103 participants including Church leaders, faculty staff of theological colleges and persons with disabilities in East Asia were made aware of disability, given an introduction to disability studies curriculum development process and the World Council of Churches’ document ‘ A Church of All and for All.” In Indonesia a draft curriculum was drafted for further discussions amongst the Association of Theological Education Institutions in Indonesia.12. Asia Regional Coordinator meeting with the National Council of Churches of Korea: The

This important two volume collection of essays came out of a five day consultation in Manila in May of 2007 sponsored by The Association of Theological Education in South East Asia in collaboration with Ecumenical Theological Education program of the Christian Conference of Asia and the Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network (EDAN) of the World Council of Churches which are:
Longchar, W. and Cowans, G. (2007) Two volume Theological resource book on disability. I. Persons with disabilities in society: problems and challenges, and II. Disabled God amidst broken people: doing theology from disability perspective. Manila: The Association for Theological Education in South East Asia.

The colleges that have attended these meetings are:

1.    Senate of SERAMPORE Colleges (Andhra Christian Theological College; Aizawl Theological College; Allahabad Bible Seminary; Academy Of Integrated Christian Studies; Bishop’s College; Baptist Theological College; Bethel Bible College; Bethel Bible Institute; Calcutta Bible Seminary; Clark Theological College; Calvin Institute Of Theology; Concordia Theological Seminary; Dharma Jyothi Vidya Peeth; Eastern Theological College; Faith Theological Seminary; Federated Faculty For Research In Religion And Culture; Gossner Theological College; Gujarat United School Of Theology; Gurukul Lutheran Theological College; Harding Theological College; Indian Theological Seminary; John Roberts Theological Seminary Mawklot; Kerala United Theological Seminary; Karnataka Theological College; Leonard Theological College; Methodist Bible Seminary; Madras Theological Seminary & College; Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary; Manipur Theological College; Mar Thoma Theological Seminary; Mennonite Brethren Centenary Bible College; Mar Thoma Episcopal Jubilee; Institute Of Evangelism; Master’s College Of Theology; Missionary Training College; New Theological College; North Indian Institute Of Post Graduate; Theological Studies (Niipgts); Nav Jyoti Post Graduate And Research Centre; Orissa Christian Theological College; Orthodox Theological Seminary; Santal Theological College; Serampore College; Southern Asia Christian College; St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary; St. Andrew’s Theological College; Theological College Of Lanka; Tamilnadu Theological Seminary; Trinity Theological College; Trulock Theological Seminary; Union Biblical Seminary; United Theological College; United Theological Seminary Of Maharashtra and Witter Theological College)

2.    National Council of Churches in Korea, Presbyterian Church in Korea, Korea Differently Abled Federation and Korean Association of the Differently Abled Women.
3.    Association of Theological Education in Indonesia, Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (UKSW-Salatiga, Korean Differently Abled Woman United, UKIM-Ambon, UIN Sunan, Kalijaga Yogyakarta, UKDW-Yogyakarta, Cipanas Theological Seminary, Sundermann-Nias Theological Seminary, Sangkakala Kopeng Theological Seminary, III-Batu, Intim-Makassar Theological Seminary, UKIT-Tomohon, Abdiel-Ungaran Theological Seminary, STAKN-Alor,  Marturia Theological Seminary, Amanat Agung-Jakarta Theological Seminary, Halmahera Theological Seminary, Bala Keselamatan Theological Seminary, UKAW-Kupang, Jakarta Theological Seminary).
4.    National Council of Churches in Myanmar, Association of Theological Education Institutions in Myanmar (ACTS, Pyay; LTS , Ktone; Litsom, POL; KTC, Kutkai; LTC, Yangoon; SSKBMS, Tt; MIT , Yangoon; BTS, Yangoon; TCC, Yangoon; FGOBC, Yangoon; MCFB, Yangoon; KBTS, Yangoon; ZTC, Falam; HCTC, Yangoon; MCC, Yangoon; PSC, MIT, Yangoon; CCC, Haka; TTC. Tdm-Yangoon; MEI, Yangoon; IPCM/BTS; YKBBS, Yangoon; MIT, Yangoon; PKTS, Yangoon; CTS, Tamu; MCC-HIV, Yangoon; KTC, NN; MIT , Yangoon; ATEM, Yangoon; ECDC, Yangoon, TCC Yangoon)

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