Sarah Jean Barton
Instructor, Medical Center in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Henri Nouwen Faculty Fellow, Western Theological Seminary
Instructor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division, Duke University

My primary areas of scholarship include Christian theology, ethics, and disability studies. My dissertation, entitled "Becoming the Baptized Body: Disability, Baptism, and the Practice of Christian Community" focused on developing an account of theological anthropology that robustly includes people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the dissertation, I developed my constructive theological work out of qualitative research on baptismal theologies and practices among people with disabilities, their friends and families, as well as church leaders (lay and clergy). I engaged communities of faith across the ecumenical spectrum.

Currently, my research and writing are focused on intersections of disability and theology, as well as increasing accessibility and universal design for learning in theological education. I also serve on the Curriculum Writing Team for the developing Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division at Duke.

My broader scholarship includes experience presenting across interdisciplinary contexts on issues of spirituality, theology, occupational therapy, global health, and intellectual disability.


Doctor of Theology
Dissertation: “Becoming the Baptized Body: Disability, Baptism, and the Practice of Christian Community”
Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC, USA), 2014 - 2019 

Master of Theological Studies
summa cum laude , Certificate in Anglican Studies
Thesis: “Toward Human Flourishing: Theological Perspectives in Occupational Therapy”
Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC, USA), 2012-2014

Master of Science
Occupational Therapy, Pi Theta Epsilon
Boston University (Boston, MA, USA), 2009-2012

Bachelor of Science
magna cum laude , Biology
Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, WA, USA), 2005-2009

Office Hours

As I am currently appointed to an in-residence faculty fellowship in Michigan, I am available to arrange electronic office hours by request. In addition, I travel to Durham frequently and would be happy to coordinate an in-person meeting as desired.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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