The Centre for Intellectual Disability and Ministry at Belfast Bible College is moving into a new phase of development. Many of you have followed its progress and supported its development since its launch in 2015.
Over the past two years, the Centre has extended our courses for adults with intellectual disabilities to three terms. Training conferences for churches on ‘Inclusion and Support’ have now been presented at 10 venues across the Province, averaging 60 people at each event. Members of the team have published 2 books and 4 articles. Specifically-designed curriculum has been successfully incorporated into the Master of Theology at QUB, with our first student graduating last year. The new Master of Research pathway, starting in the autumn, contains our modules on theology, the church and intellectual disability. The two day Conference in 2016, held on Campus, attracted 100 delegates. The Conference planned for June 2017, to be hosted in Bangor, is designed to work in partnership with four other organisations (Biblica, Love for Life, The Big House, Urban Saints) to help families, youth leaders and churches to support and nurture young people with intellectual disabilities.
Belfast Bible College has provided an important, strategic initial base and opportunity to explore the potential of this initiative. Consequently when Ian Dickson came to the College with the proposal to extend the scope and direction of the work as a separate entity, we knew we wanted to support this endeavour, believing in its importance as much now as we did two years ago and so release and bless this work so that it might grow further. The Director, Ian Dickson, will stand down from our full time Faculty, after 13 years’ service, to concentrate on developing Tiō. And although organisationally separate, we will retain close ties and avail of teaching and training resources as appropriate – particularly the Studying God Together courses, evening classes and postgraduate teaching
This is an exciting and important development which we hope you will continue to promote and support. It has been a privilege for BBC to be part of this development and we are excited to see how this work will continue to grow.
If you are already a supporter and we have your contact details you will receive further information from Tiō over the next few months. If not, and you would like to be kept informed, please contact Tiō directly at www.tioassociates.org/contact