Daniel Thomson is the Director of Academic Engagement for the Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability. Daniel graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Arkansas in 1995, a B.S. in Health Science from the University of Central Arkansas in 1996, and a M.S. in Physical Therapy from UCA in 1997.
Daniel actively practiced as a Physical Therapist from 1998 to 2015, developing a passion to serve and minister to and with those affected by disability. As part of his ministry journey, Daniel enrolled as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) in the fall of 2005 and graduated with a Th.M. in 2009. While a student at DTS, Daniel led an initiative in collaboration with Joni and Friends staff and DTS seminary faculty, to bring about a course on suffering and disability called, “A Biblical Theology of Suffering, Disability, and the Church.” Since its first offering in 2009, hundreds of DTS students have since enrolled and completed this course, which challenges students to have a more biblically grounded view of suffering with Disability Ministry as a practical application.
Daniel currently is a doctoral student at Dallas Baptist University (DBU) and is doing his dissertation on, “Promoting Compassionate Love at Dallas Theological Seminary Through Compassionate-Learning.” Compassionate-Learning is a hands-on practical ministry program that Daniel helped to develop from 2012 to 2015, which reaches those on the margins of society through DTS student outreach. Once Daniel became a doctoral student at DBU, a similar version of the DTS course was started during the spring 2011 semester at DBU.
Daniel contributed to the book, “Why O God: Suffering and Disability in the Bible and Church” in 2010, which was based in part on the DTS course. Daniel, now on staff with Joni and Friends, continues work towards the goal of influencing and generating future servant-leaders that communicate the gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disability.
Daniel currently resides in Thousand Oaks, California, with his wife Kim of more than 19 years and their three children, Mason, Matthew, and Sarah.