Work and Representation

This Certificate Training Program expands Dr. Kelly Friesen’s research, dissertation and professional observations.

In addition to data collected from the work of scholars, testimonies were compiled via questionnaires from neurodivergent individuals, pastors, and church leaders. The quantity and quality of responses representing ten countries confirm the importance of this work. 

Neurodivergent individuals and neurodivergent professionals' voices provide valuable insight and are a driving force behind this training.

A Small Bit of History

Though the term neurodiversity is relatively new, the concept is not. The term neurodiversity was first coined by sociologist Judy Singer in 1997.

Singer’s framework was based on a social model of disability, which based experience on society’s barriers, negative attitudes, and exclusionary practices, and opposed the medical model that would seek to cure rather than see social change. However, as she continued her studies, she found that the social model did not entirely suit the movement as it “fudged the materiality of diverse bodies and minds.” She felt that banishing the acknowledgment of suffering altogether was a step too far.

Singer identifies those who have taken shelter under the movement and those who have been mistreated and oppressed. She imagines a kind of society in which neurotypical and neurodivergent people can interact with mutual respect for each other’s differences, gifts, and deficits.


The diversity or variation of cognitive functioning in people. Everyone has a unique brain and, therefore, different skills, abilities, and needs.

Neurodiversity describes the different ways in which the brain functions in people. Its scope includes all Neurotypical and Neurodivergent.

See FAQ for more definitions.

Who is this Certificate Training Program for?

  • The program is for anyone interested in learning more about Neurodiversity and advancing healthier approaches, equality, equity, and dignity for all neurotypes within the church (the overall body of Christ).

  • More specifically, if you are a Church Leader, Ministry Leader, Team Leader, Leader in a Christian School, or a Christ Follower, this is for you.

  • This a Christian-based program with practical approaches focused on the Church establishment and spiritual approaches benefitting both church establishments and individual ministers and Christ followers; that being said, much of the information in this program will help and relate to many sectors of business and individuals.

Questions to be Examined

  1. Has societal injustice towards neurodivergent people followed into the church?
  2. What is the experience of neurodivergent people within the church?
  3. How has the church approached neurodiversity?
  4. How can the church practically and spiritually love, include, and minister more effectively to all neurotypes?

Topics to be Covered

  • Current favoured definitions will include terms like Neurodiversity, Neurodiversity Paradigm, Neurodiversity Movement, Neurodivergent and Neurodivergence, Neurotypical, Neurominority, Neurodiverse, and more.

  • The history of neurodiversity as well as neurodivergent people in society, and why understanding it is essential in moving forward successfully with healing and wholeness.

  • The experience of neurodivergent people in the church today, why their stories are important, and why having an open ear to hear is also essential for healing.

  • Responses and current understanding of neurodiversity from pastors and church leaders.

  • The neurodivergent community's response to the church with engaging valuable insight to move forward.

  • Significant practical and spiritual approaches will be explored, speaking to the equal inclusion of all neurotypes within the church, impacting church, ministry and schools, with correlating practicalities for individuals, society, and places of employment.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is Neurodiversity?

    Neurodiversity describes the different ways in which the brain functions in people. Its scope includes all Neurotypical and Neurodivergent.

  • What is Neurodiverse?

    Describes the diversity and variation of cognitive functioning in people.

  • What is Neurotypical?

    Neurotypical is a descriptor that refers to someone with brain functions, behaviours, and processing considered standard or typical.

  • What is Neurodivergence?

    Cognitive functioning that is not considered "typical."

  • What is Neurodivergent?

    Describes people who have a neurodivergence.

  • How do most people use the term neurodivergent?

    Most people use the term neurodivergent in a singular context. For example, “I am neurodivergent.”

  • What traits are considered neurodivergent?

    Neurodivergent is quite a broad term. Neurodivergence (the state of being neurodivergent) can be largely or entirely genetic and innate, or it can be largely or wholly produced by brain-altering experience or some combination of the two. The list may include but is not limited to Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD, HSP, SPS, SPD, Empath, Misophonia, Alexithymia, Synesthesia, Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome, etc.

  • Are the terms Aspergers and ADD still used?

    It's important to note that Asperger's (as well as PDD-NOS) is technically no longer a diagnosis on its own and is now part of a broader category of autism. Though some still embrace their identity with this term, many prefer to identify as Autistic. It is essential to be sensitive to an individual’s preference as the word Asperger’s can have a negative connotation for some (more on this in the training). Additionally, ADD has returned to ADHD in the newest DSM.

“Incredible resources have been popping up in recent years addressing the topic of neurodiversity that are helping to change the narrative. But, unfortunately, the gap has been in the church. I pray that educating and empowering the church will lead to healing, equity, honour, and deepened community for all neurotypes and help bridge the gap between neurotypical and neurodivergent, celebrating all unique strengths. I remain inspired by all the brave neurodivergent people speaking up to change the narrative.” Dr. Kelly Friesen

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many questionnaires were returned in Dr. Kelly Friesen’s original research?

    Of the 78 returned questionnaires, 68 were from neurodivergent individuals, and 10 were from pastors/church leaders. Ten countries were represented overall.

  • Are there group rates for churches, ministries, or Christian schools?

    We would be happy to discuss the possibility of group rates with you. Please send a note via email to [email protected] with your inquiry.

  • Can we offer this training program as part of our college/university curriculum?

    It is a good possibility. Please send a note via email to [email protected] to discuss the opportunity.

  • Is this Certificate Training Program Online?

    Yes, it is a completely self-paced online course.

  • When can I start the training?

    You will gain access to the training on release date. Dr. Kelly Friesen’s email subscribers will be kept in the loop with updates.

  • Can I transfer my purchase to another person?

    No, use is for the purchaser only. But, if you want to buy it as a gift, email [email protected].

  • If I buy one copy, can I share it with my friends or team?

    Well, you could show everyone the course content. But your purchase is for individual use, and you don't want to break copyright law, do you? Didn't think so. Send a note via email to [email protected] to inquire about group/team rates.

  • My question is not on the list.

    Didn't see your question on this list? Just send a note via email to [email protected].

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