Naomi Annandale is a PhD candidate in Religion, Psychology and Culture whose work draws on care ethics, feminist pastoral theologies, and empirical methods to construct liberative pastoral theology concerned with the well-being of individuals with disabilities and their families. Her primary work uses care as a lens to assess qualitative research with families of teenagers with autism, asking how these families experience care and lack-of-care in the church and in society, what their care experiences say about our social values, and how the church might contribute to human flourishing for these families.
Naomi also has an interest in theological education, and in addition to her dissertation, she is researching how students at ATS-accredited seminaries and theological schools are prepared to work with persons with disabilities. She recently conducted a survey of all ATS-accredited seminaries and is writing a paper on the research.
She has presented at a conference on Wesleyan theology and will present at one on medicine and religion this summer.
In her work, Naomi seeks to drawing together church and academy for the sake of building whole, healthy communities. To that end, she has done research for the Nashville Mayor’s office on faith communities’ work with children and youth, and currently leads a disability awareness committee that organized a community shoe drive to raise awareness at the state legislature about the deplorable lack of resources for adults with disabilities in the state of Tennessee. The ARC of Middle Tennessee has awarded Naomi their community service award for this work.