Adults with Intellectual Disabilities


Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Christian Education Resources

group of friends stand arm in arm. Some have disabilities.


Some adults with intellectual disabilities may be happy to participate in classes alongside  peers who do not have a disability. Others will appreciate a specialized class that takes their learning differences into account. 

A separate program should respect the dignity and life experience of adults with intellectual disabilities. A separate program should respect the dignity and life experience of adults with intellectual disabilities by providing them with Christian education appropriate for their age group. We do not recommend adopting a curriculum written for children. For more thoughts on treating adults as adults, read "Learning in a Grown Up World," by David Morstad, executive director of the Bethesda Institute.

Sources of curricula for adults

Friendship Ministries offers Bible study resources for adults with intellectual disabilities and many other resources for ministry from an interdenominational perspective.

Lifeway offers the Access curriculum for adults with intellectual disabilities from a Southern Baptist perspective.

Christian Churches Disability Ministries. 52 Lesson Plans for Students with Cognitive Disabilities; many other resources.

Beyond Limits Curriculum. a 52-week Bible curriculum specifically designed for use with teens & adults with intellectual disabilities

Jesus Cares Ministries - a range of resources developed by the Lutheran Home Association

Baptism and church membership

Believing and Belonging: An accessible Anabaptist membership curriculum by Jeanne Davies. This curriculum has 26 lessons covering God's first people, the story of Jesus, the story of the Early Church, Anabaptist beliefs and practices, and a discussion of baptism and membership. Each story features a captivating illustration by Dona Park or real-life photos that assist in understanding. Lessons also involve a "do" portion, with action-items that encourage students to embody what they are learning.

This curriculum is designed as a year-long preparation for a decision about baptism and church membership. The Teacher's Guide includes tips and insights for teaching, as well as a guide for discerning next steps if the ability to choose baptism seems unclear.

Expressing Faith in Jesus: Church Membership for People with Intellectual Disabilities. By Ron Vredeveld. This book and its companion resource kit, written from an interdenominational perspective, guide church leaders and friends with intellectual disabilities through baptism, confirmation, or profession of faith.

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 Opening Doors