Best Practices in Christian Schools: Serving Students with Disabilities

“… continues to increase. However, there is very little research on special education practices in Christian schools and churches in North America. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Julie M Lane Fresno Pacific University Contact Me
Quentin P Kinnison Fresno Pacific University Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

Over six million students receive special education services in public schools in the United States. Although Christian schools are not required to offer special education services, Christian schools have students with disabilities. In addition, parental interest in special education services in Christian schools is increasing. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of literature regarding special education practices in Christian schools and churches.

The current study seeks (1) to understand the characteristics of inclusion and hospitality present in Christian schools that serve children with disabilities and (2) to provide a clear vision of inclusion within the Christian community. Inclusion and hospitality refer to welcoming, accepting, and nurturing all God’s children.

Using qualitative ethnographic research methods, the study will identify 10 Christian schools that serve students with disabilities. Open-ended questionnaires will be used to interview principals, teachers, and a select group of parents on the characteristics of inclusion and hospitality. These characteristics will provide guidance in developing special needs programs for all Christian schools and the wider church community. This study acknowledges that as we serve students with disabilities, we participate in God’s work of reconciliation, which is a journey of transformation towards God. In addition, this timely study will contribute to our limited knowledge on serving students with disabilities in Christian schools, churches, and communities.