"What opportunities does the STARS ministry have for my child with a disability?"
There are many opportunities for your child with a disability no matter what their age. There are Bible classes and respite nights for all ages. We have overnight retreats and serving opportunities for our teen and adults with disabilities.
"What opportunities does the STARS ministry have for the rest of my family?"
The STARS ministry knows that disability impacts the entire family, not just the person with a disability. We provide a variety of family supports which can be found on the Disability Family Support tab.
"My child was just diagnosed with a disability, and I am overwhelmed. Is there someone I can talk to?"
We always want to make ourselves available to you. The director of the disability ministry, Julie Clemens, is happy to meet with you and help you get in touch with specific pastors or other STARS parents who can meet with you privately and desire to help you find hope for your specific situation. We also have a Parent Support Group and a STARS Dads group where you will find other parents who are on the same journey and are happy to listen.
"Do I have to be a member of College Church to participate in STARS programs?"
Membership or regular attendance at College Church is not a requirement for your child to participate in the STARS ministry. However, if you do not have a church family, we would love to have you become part of the College Church family. Not only do you need the church, but the church needs you!
"How do I register for events?"
Registration is only required for our respite events and retreats. To register for an event, go to the Disability Ministry Events tab and click on Upcoming.
"How do individuals with intellectual disabilities come to faith?"
Faith is a matter of the heart and not the intellect. Jesus said in Matthew 18:2 that, "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Most individuals with intellectual disabilities have a mental age of between 6-12 years. When our STARS believe that Jesus died for their sins and rose again to give them new life, they have come to faith. They can express that faith both verbally and non-verbally. When they express their faith they are given the opportunity to be baptized and become a member of the church.
"What Bible curriculum do you use?"
We use a variety of curriculums. For our children and teens, we use the David C. Cook Tru Curriculum. Since this curriculum is used throughout our children's ministry, we have selected this curriculum so that children with disabilities and their siblings are studying the same Bible passage each week. We feel this will help our parents include their children with special needs in the family Bible discussions throughout the week.
for our adults, we use the following curriculums designed for people with intellectual disabilites:
Here is a complete list of resources: SPECIAL NEEDS CURRICULUM SUGGESTIONS
"What are the qualifications of your staff?"
We are blessed to have a godly and well-trained paid staff with backgrounds in physical therapy, speech therapy and special education. Our volunteer ministry leaders have backgrounds in special education and/or have children with special needs.
"What are your current staffing ratios and fees?"
Our staffing ratios vary according to the type of event and the age and disability of the person. We provide 1:1 assistance for any child or adult who requires this to be able to participate fully in ministry events and programs. When we have events for teens and adults in the community or on overnight retreats, we generally staff at a 1:1 or 1:2 staff to STAR ratio. Staffing for programs and events on the church campus are
"Do I need to have a background in special education or allied health in order to volunteer?"
Absolutely not. The most important qualifications are to love Jesus, love people with disabilities and be faithful in your service.
"What is your volunteer process and training?"
All volunteers fill out an application and answer questions regarding their disability experience and faith. Every volunteer undergoes a 48-state background check and provides references. These references are checked according to the Protection Policy of College Church. Every volunteer then goes through a training process which includes classroom and hands-on learning. For more specifics about our training, check out the link to our online training module which is located on the right side of every Disability Ministry webpage.
More questions? Contact Director Julie Clemens or Administrative Assistant Kim Jimenez