Covenant Theological Seminary recently named author, speaker, and respected authority on disability ministry Stephanie O. Hubach to the post of Research Fellow in Disability Ministries. Hubach will focus on researching, writing, and speaking on topics related to identity, image bearing, and disability in the family, as well as seeking better ways to understand, appreciate, and include those with disabilities in our churches and culture. A long-time visiting instructor of educational ministries at the Seminary, Hubach will continue to teach as a guest in a variety of courses and conferences and will lead special events to help the campus and area churches to engage in disability ministry. Her work, done in collaboration with the Educational Ministries department, will help equip future ministry leaders to serve more effectively with and for people in the church with special needs.
Dr. Tasha Chapman, director of educational studies and adjunct associate professor of educational ministries, sees Hubach’s appointment as a great benefit to both the Seminary and the church as a whole: “Steph is a gifted researcher, writer, and teacher with a contagious enthusiasm for the gospel. She is also an expert at teaching the church how to come alongside people with disabilities. Her work will be invaluable in addressing special needs issues in our degree programs and will help us speak into the broader world of disability issues as well. I am confident this partnership will add greatly to the resources available for making the gospel more accessible to all in word and deed.”
Hubach, whose youngest son has Down syndrome, has extensive experience in disability ministry in a variety of contexts. She was the founding director of MNA Special Needs Ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America’s Mission to North America, where she served from 2007 to 2016. Prior to that, she and her husband led the special needs ministry at Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, for eight years. She also served on the Lancaster Christian Council on Disability and on the boards or advisory boards for several support organizations for those with disabilities. She is the author of two books—Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability (P&R, 2006) and All Things Possible: Calling Your Church Leadership to Embrace Disability Ministry (Joni and Friends, 2007)—and coordinated the team effort for a disability ministry track in the Ministry Essentials Bible (Hendrickson, 2014). See more on her background and research at www.stephaniehubach.com.
Of her appointment, Hubach says, “I long to see our PCA ministry leaders and pastors well-equipped in the arena of ministry to and alongside of people with disabilities and their families. Just as disability knows no socio-economic boundaries, it also knows no specific academic disciplines. There are disability-related contexts for every aspect of a seminary education. I have a profound appreciation for the faculty, staff, and community of Covenant Seminary. This new role is a natural outgrowth of our ongoing relationship and a marvelous way to further develop awareness of and resources for disability ministry in our churches.”
Dr. Mark Dalbey, president of Covenant Seminary, agrees: “Steph has a deep love for God and his Word combined with a strong passion for people with special needs. She integrates the two with skill and care. Her closer connection with the Seminary will be a great blessing to many. We praise God for this wonderful opportunity.”