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This fall we welcomed the first Henri Nouwen Doctoral Fellows!

Thanks to funding from a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to further the seminary’s work in the area of disability and ministry, Western was able to invite two young scholars to join the faculty for two years as they finish their dissertations on an aspect of disability studies.

Sarah Barton was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She has a B.S. in Biology, an M.S. in Occupational Therapy, and an M.T.S. degree. She is currently a Doctor of Theology Candidate at Duke Divinity School. Sarah brings to our faculty not only strong academic credentials, but also professional experience as an occupational therapist. She speaks on issues related to intellectual disability, disability studies, occupational therapy, global health, and spirituality. She received an Honorary Dissertation Fellowship (2018-2019) from the Louisville Institute and was named the Academic Fellow for the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Fellowship Partners Program (2018-2021).

Sarah is an active Episcopalian who enjoys serving as a lay preacher and lay eucharistic minister.

 

 

Originally from the coastal city of Cartagena, Columbia, L.S. Carlos A. Thompson was adopted by an American family and raised in Fargo, ND. Carlos earned a B.S. in Church Ministry, an M.A. in Religious Studies, and an M.Th. in Ministry and Mission (Practical Theology). He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Divinity at the University of Aberdeen, King’s College.

Carlos is a Charismatic-Reformed Pentecostal who lives with congenital cerebral palsy. One of the questions foundational to his research and spiritual reflection is: How are Christians to understand “healing” in the midst of enduring disability and chronic illness?

Carlos is working in the Graduate Certificate in Disability and Ministry program, helping to form the long-term strategy for Western’s ambitious disability and ministry curriculum as part of his PhD research. He lives in and directs the Friendship House, where he gives guidance and sincere friendship to the residents and young adults with cognitive disabilities living there and in the Red Brick apartments. This combination of academic programming and hands-on ministry makes Carlos’ work very valuable to both the seminary and the Holland community.