Longing for Community

Early in his career as a chaplain, Bill Gaventa, Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, spent time listening to the families of children with disabilities.   He recognized their longing for community as it was much like his own.  In this interview, Bill shares how his call came out of his own struggle to feel a sense of belonging, and how the desire for connection with people gives him hope.

An interview on faith, vocation and hope.

Bill Gaventa


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Bill Gaventa is currently the Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability as well as the new Collaborative on Faith and Disability, linking a number of University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities who are addressing spirituality through initiatives in training, technical assistance, research, and/or dissemination. He was formerly Director of Community and Congregational Supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities in New Jersey. Bill’s primary areas of experience and expertise are spiritual and faith based supports with people with disabilities, training for clergy, seminarians and community services staff, aging and end of life/grief issues in intellectual and developmental disabilities, cultural competence, and community building. He served as the President of American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for 2016-2017.