The STory of Terre Haute Friendship House

[Winter 2020] The Beginnings of a Friendship House

Ever wonder how a Friendship House comes to be? Jess Berryhill gives a glimpse into how one Friendship House came to life in Terre Haute, Indiana!  SEE MORE...

St John's Bible

[Winter 2020] Duke/Durham Friendship House

Duke Divinity School is hosting the St. John’s Bible, an illuminated manuscript, during the 2019-2020 academic year.  We saw an opportunity.  Theological reflection is a regular part of our life together as we Eat together, Pray together, and Celebrate together! SEE MORE...

fayetteville friendship house marks one year

[Winter 2020] Friendship House Celebrates One Year!

Victoria Hall has two wall art decorations of characters Elsa and Anna from the Disney movie “Frozen” in her room.
It’s one of her favorite movies.
“I haven’t seen the new one,” Hall said.
On another wall are photos of her two sisters, Lenora and Alexandra.
“For Christmas, we went to Georgia — my sisters and their husbands and two dogs and a baby nephew,” Hall said.
Since November 2018, Hall, 28, has gained a new nephew, Christopher, and a new job.
She was the first “friend,” or young adult with an intellectual or developmental disability, seeking independence by moving into the Hope Marie Duggins Campus of Friendship House Fayetteville... SEE MORE...

Friendship House Fayetteville openS its first Farmers Market

[Fall 2019] Friendship House Fayetteville Opens Its First Famers Market

On September 7, Friendship House Fayetteville opened its first Farmers Market on campus under The Grange (pavilion.) Friend Residents worked hard on handmade goodies and crafts to join in the fun with over 14 local vendors. Over 300 attendees came out to enjoy food trucks, face painting, fresh produce by Friendship Community Gardens and Kindred Ministries, lots of shopping and live bluegrass by The Parson’s to set the stage for an exciting day in fellowship, while building more inclusive communities. Due to popular demand, The Grange Farmers Market of Friendship House Fayetteville will be open March through October, the first Saturday of each month from 10a-2pm. Please join us March 5, 2020 at 200 Highland Ave. Fayetteville, NC 28305. SEE MORE...


[Summer 2019] Community Enjoys Open House and Dedication

Jess Berryhill, who also serves as student ministry director at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, said she hopes Friendship House creates a sense of community among the residents. “What we’re really out to do is help both our college students and friends learn to live independently while having some fun along the way,” Berryhill said. “And I think that’s going to be the really cool part of it, we kind of just get to do life together and have a friend experience that’s just off the charts.” Read More

A New Space in Nashville

[Summer 2019] Eating, Praying, and Celebrating Together!

An anonymous donor gave us the $100,000+ needed to build a community building at our second Friendship House. This is something we've been waiting for for three years, and we're thrilled that construction is starting any day now. Our residents will finally have a common area in which they can follow the maxim of Jean Vanier to eat, pray, and celebrate together.

Disney Comes to Friendship House Nashville

Friendship House residents often horse around at their Monday night community dinners. Last month, they adopted a Disney princess or dwarf as their own: Zach was Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Steven was Jasmine (Aladdin), Will was Merida (Brave), Chenelle was Elsa (Frozen), Nick was Mulan (Mulan), Tiffany was Shang (Mulan), Ian was Sleepy, Bryshawn was Happy . . . you get the idea! Three of our residents have made pilgrimages to Disney World recently (here, Zach is with Minnie Mouse).

Residents in Fayetteville are Thriving!

[Spring 2019] Vaniere is Gone, but FH Fayetteville is Thriving!

At the evening prayer service at a new residential complex here, a dozen young people took turns reading a passage from the Gospel of Luke, reciting a Psalm and singing some prayers. They paid no mind as one woman tripped over the words “rebuke,” “unrighteous” and “snare” that appeared in the liturgy. They congratulated another person who, at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, blurted out, “What does ‘amen’ mean?”... [READ MORE]


[Spring 2019] Terre Haute Friendship House Opens!

The Terre Haute Friendship House was born out of a local church’s disability ministry and the need they saw to provide a launch pad for young adults with disabilities. Through community conversations, they identified that affordable, safe housing and the lack of community as needs that many in the disability community both needed and craved. The purpose of the Terre Haute Friendship House is to provide space where young adults with disabilities and their college peers can experience community by eating, praying, and celebrating together while striving towards independence.  

Princeton Seminary Exploring Friendship House

[Winter 2019] Princeton Seminary Visits Friendship Houses in North Carolina

From Melissa Temple, "March 3-6 a team of administrators, faculty, and students from Princeton Theological Seminary visited the Durham and Fayetteville Friendship Houses, ServiceSource, and Reality Ministries. During our trip we had the opportunity to personally meet with residents, their parents, student RA's, Duke faculty, Friendship House directors, and the non-profits that partner with each Friendship House. Every moment of this experience was filled with wonder, joy, and learning as we listened to the stories of residents and their families, attended chapel, enjoyed many wonderful meals together, and witnessed the love incarnated in these communities. This experience helped our team imagine what a potential Princeton Seminary Friendship House might look like, provided us with the opportunity to ask better questions, and equipped us with tools as we discern our next steps. Princeton Seminary is deeply grateful for the generosity of Friendship House Partners USA for making this trip possible, and for the gracious hospitality we experienced throughout our visit." View Pictures From the Visit!

Friendship House Fayetteville Has Launched

[Winter 2019] Peek Inside Friendship House Fayetteville 

Friendship House Fayetteville is a place where people thrive. Students and individuals come together under one roof to learn about what it means to be a friend and a positive influence.  WATCH THIS VIDEO to get a glimpse! You can learn more about Friendship House Fayetteville at:

Friendship House Durham In the Media

[Fall 2018] Friendship House Durham Featured in ABC Digital Show, "More in Common"

When the ABC Digital television show "More in Common" wanted to feature a friendship between people with and without disabilities, they connected with the North Street Neighborhood in Durham, which is home to Durham's Friendship House. As a result, over half a million viewers have gotten to peek at a friendship between Nathan and Zach. (Big win for viewers!) Check out the 7-minute feature HERE. If you don't have facebook, you can visit and search for "Amy and Avery."


[Fall 2018] Fayetteville Friendship House Nears Completion

Over the last few months, the buildings that will be the foundation of Friendship House Fayetteville have taken shape between Broadfoot and Highland avenues. Three residential facilities, a garden and a pavilion have sprung up as part of the $1.3-million initiative that will be the fifth such project in the world to help people with disabilities gain independence. SEE MORE

FOUNDING Friends Graduate

[Summer 2018] Six Founding Friends of the Ralph and Cheryl Schregardus Friendship House Graduate

On Monday May 7, Zach, Megan, Amanda, Dan, Rob, and Seth walked across the stage at Dimnent Chapel to graduate as Founding Friends of the Ralph and Cheryl Schregardus Friendship House. SEE MORE

Construction In Fayetteville, NC moves forward

[Spring 2018] Friendship House Fayetteville Moves Ahead

On March 7, 2018, ServiceSource NC held the official ground-breaking ceremony for the future Friendship House Fayetteville. Local advisory committee members, donors, staff and key city officials were present to celebrate this exciting time. Friendship House Fayetteville will be the fifth Friendship House in the world, helping young adults with (I/DD) disabilities. It will be the first model to  have healthcare students living as roommates, which will include the fields of social work and divinity. SEE MORE

Christians With Intellectual Disabilities Serving Churches

[Spring 2018] Author Amy Julia Becker Celebrates the Ministry of People With Disabilities

In Christianity Today's recent cover story on the ministry of people with disabilities, author Amy Julia Becker, a friend of Friendship House, highlights Friendship House Durham, and the gifts residents bring to the larger church. Read Amy Julia's article.

3rd and 4th Friendship House Planned for Nashville

[Winter 2018] Nashville Planning to Open Two More Friendship Houses in 2019

We’re partnering with Woodbine Community Organization ( to build our third and fourth Friendship Houses. To be completed in 2019, they’ll accommodate 40 new residents, and offer seniors as well as graduate students the opportunity to live with and support our Friends. 

ALSO: We’ve changed our name. From now on, we are OUR PLACE NASHVILLE, the very best expression of the fact that we are the only organization making a place in Nashville for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and advocating forcefully for their full inclusion into the life of this city.  Visit our new website at

New Friendship House in Newberg, Oregon

[Fall 2017] Friendship House Newberg Opens 10 Blocks From George Fox University

We are excited to share with you the opening of Friendship House Newberg on September 1, 2017. Friendship House Newberg is a 2400 square foot home located 10 blocks from the campus of George Fox University.  With three George Fox students residing in Friendship House on September 1 and two adults with intellectual disabilities (hereafter referred to as Friends) joining in October, opening Friendship House Newberg has been a wonderful and exciting adventure.   READ MORE


[Fall 2017] Friendship House Fayetteville Hosts First Chefs Auction

Friendship House Fayetteville held its first Chefs Auction on October 5 at the Ramada Plaza Bordeaux. Over 375 attendees, sponsors and donors helped raise a net of $90,000 to benefit Friendship House Fayetteville. Friendship House Fayetteville has raised $495,000 and $127,000 in pledges for its 1.3-million-dollar capital campaign. Recent grants have been received by Wells Fargo, Cumberland Community Foundation and Walmart Distribution Center. Several additional grants are in process.


[Fall 2017] Friendship House Partners Announces First Intern

Friendship House Partners announces its first intern!  Hunter Ross, one of Friendship House Durham's Residential Directors, will be serving and learning from Friendship House Partners. READ MORE

Friendship House Partners RD's RETREAT in Holland, MI

[Spring 2017] Friendship House Resident Directors Gather in Holland, MI for Retreat and Training

May 17-19 Friendship House RDs from Friendship Houses at Duke Divinity/Durham, NC, Vanderbilt Divinity/Nashville, TN and Western Theological Seminary/Holland, MI gathered for retreat and training. READ MORE

$1.3 M  Friendship House in Haymount looks promising

[Spring 2017] Scott Cameron Instrumental in Bringing Friendship House to Fayetteville

At the intersection of faith and medicine, Scott Cameron discovered his personal compass.
Surfing. In downtown Durham. On a bus.
That was Cameron’s introduction to Alex Furness, to Friendship House, to the concept of celebrating the small joys and miracles of daily life. “It was a moment of joy most of us lost a long time ago,” Cameron said. Now a neonatal physician at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, he was a grad student at Duke’s divinity school at the time... READ MORE


[Spring 2017] Friendship House Fayetteville is Gathering Steam!

Friendship House Fayetteville is in the works!  Check out this beautiful VIDEO and visit Friendship House Fayetteville site!


[Spring 2017] Missional Wisdom Foundation Highlights Friendship House

Friendship House is a residential ministerial formation opportunity at Duke Divinity School, Vanderbilt Divinity School and Western Theological Seminary (MI). In each of these, divinity or seminary students live in intentional community with persons with an intellectual or developmental disability. Our life is ordered around the community building blocks Jean Vanier articulated (founder of L'Arche communities), Eat Together, Pray Together, Celebrate Together!..  [CLICK AND SCROLL DOWN TO READ MORE...]


[Fall 2016] Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church

How does one bring about transformation in seminary students, helping them see that all persons are created in God's image? Perhaps transformation takes place outside the classroom, in authentic relationships. To that end, United Methodist-affiliated Duke Theological Seminary is exploring what it means for students to live in community with young adults who have intellectual disabilities..  READ MORE

Dan The Balloon Man

[November 2016]  Grand Rapids Volunteer "Dan the Balloon Man" Receives Presidential Volunteer Service Award

Known as "Dan the Magic Man," Dan's balloon art has been featured in the Holland Sentinel, the Muskegon Chronicle and the Grand Rapids Press. During the summer, Dan is a regular at downtown Holland's Thursday Night Street Performances. His balloon art is enjoyed by young and old at Logan's Restaurant most weeks. and, Dan is an entrepreneur, running "Dan the Magic Man," his business where he is available for hire to entertain at special occasions. Most of us would agree that Dan carries a full schedule and yet...... READ MORE

A New Friendship House!

[October 2016]  Friendship House Fayetteville  in North Carolina, is an intentional-living community providing safe, affordable housing for young adults with intellectual/developmental delays and healthcare professional students through a partnership between Highland Presbyterian Church (landowner) and Service Source (building owner). At its core, this faith-based community is rooted in table fellowship expressed through a daily rhythm of eating, praying, and celebrating together. The residents with disabilities will be given the opportunity to improve their independent and interdependent living skills and secure jobs. The graduate students from local universities with healthcare programs (medical, physician assistant, nursing, physical and occupational therapy students) will be given the opportunity to imagine a more compassionate way of providing healthcare for their patients as well as providing sustenance, both for themselves and their coworkers, over the life of their respective vocations. Both groups will gain a deeper understanding of living with individuals with and without disabilities, and in so doing, more fully participate in the life of their community. STAY TUNED FOR MORE!

Makiing Duke Divinity School Distinct

Huffington Post [September 2016]

For people passionate about working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), there is perhaps no better place to learn and serve than Duke Divinity, where students have the opportunity to live in the Friendship House. Friendship House is a residential program in which Duke Divinity School students live together in community... READ MORE


Breaking Ground  [June 2016]

A small group of families banded together in 2010 to form an intentional Christian community called Castanea. They purchased a “broken” property, out of foreclosure, located near Trevecca Nazarene University. Since the property was a little too big and deteriorated for them to develop alone, Castanea sold half of the property to Urban Housing Solutions (UHS). UHS set about writing grants to fund the acquisition... READ MORE

Divinity Friendship House at Vanderbilt

News at Vanderbilt  [August 2015]

Friendship House is a model for the kinds of partnerships the Divinity School will pursue in the future, according to Emilie M. Townes, dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. ““We want our students engaged in the city in meaningful ways that will last long beyond their time with us and will go with them throughout their vocational journeys,” Townes said.  READ MORE
Divinity Magazine [Winter 2014]

"Friendship House is a home where Duke Divinity School students and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live together in community. The first program of its kind in the state, the home opened in September 2013 in the North Street community of Durham, N.C., as a result of a partnership between the Divinity School, HopeSpring Village, Reality Ministries, and The Arc of North Carolina. The Divinity School Office of Ministerial Formation operates..."  Download the article, below, to enjoy the photo essay!
by Matt Floding, at Amy Julia Becker's "Thin Places" blog  [April 2014]

"If people in your community are going to Wal-Mart in their wheelchairs but not coming to your church, a lot of times the church community calls them shut-ins. They're not shut-ins; they're just shut out of the church" (Ned Stoller (cited in Making Churches Accessible to the Disabled, 1998). When your church considers including people with disabilities in your congregation, what questions are you asking? ... READ MORE
by Margot Starbuck, at Amy Julia Becker's "Thin Places" blog [March 2014]

Peeking out from my living room window, I see one of my sons chucking a snowball at a neighbor who has Down Syndrome. This could be disconcerting for some moms, I know, but not this one. It's February in North Carolina and, after a rare snowfall, the friendliest snowball fight you could ever imagine is unfolding before my eyes... READ MORE
by Greg Little, at Amy Julia Becker's "Thin Places" blog [September 2013]

"Our life together has already been filled with quite a bit of joyful gatherings: cookouts, magnet-making projects, cleaning alongside one another, playing card games, praying the Psalms, ping pong at Fullsteam, and most recently a baked ziti feast... It is becoming terribly clear that my flourishing is bound up in the flourishing of each of my fellow community members...." READ MORE
by Amy Julia Becker, at The Christian Century [February 2013]

"On a Sunday morning in the spring of 2005, Deb and Bob Sterken went as usual to church in Holland, Michigan. But this Sunday they arrived with a special mission: to talk to Matt Floding, the dean of students at Western Theological Seminary. The Sterkens’ adult son Rob had Down syndrome, and they had been told that Dean Floding might be able to help Rob find appropriate housing..."  READ MORE
by Margot Starbuck, at Red Letter Christian [January 2013]

I was sitting in church, my second year of seminary, when I noticed a woman entering at the back of the sanctuary.  She was accompanied by a young man in a wheelchair and an older gentleman who was blind.  The three found a seat near the front of the sanctuary and joined in worship.Chatting with them afterwards, I learned that the older fellow, Jim, had high hopes of joining a choir. Donnie, who wasn’t verbal, loved rhythm and music...  READ MORE

Lessons From Friendship House

by Matt Floding, Faith and Leadership [January 2012]

Earnest conversations happen all the time in church sanctuaries, but I had never had one quite like this.
After Sunday worship at the church I attend, Robert and Deborah drew me aside, wanting to talk about their son, a young adult with Down syndrome: “Rob wants to live independently, and we’re not sure what to do.”
For a second I was confused... READ MORE

It is Possible to Institutionalize Goodness

by Jason Byassee, Faith and Leadership [June 2010]

How do you institutionalize goodness? The question itself may confound. “Institution” suggests all the personal warmth of the customer service line at the cell phone company... READ MORE

[Spring 2017] Friendship House Resident Directors Gather in Holland, MI for Retreat and Training

May 17-19 Friendship House RDs from Friendship Houses at Duke Divinity/Durham, NC, Vanderbilt Divinity/Nashville, TN and Western Theological Seminary/Holland, MI gathered for retreat and training. READ MORE