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Humanitarian Disaster Institute

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute is the first faith-based academic disaster research center in the country. Our mission is to help the church prepare and care for a disaster-filled world. We use our research to create resources and events geared toward students, survivors, helpers, and researchers. 

Invest in the Humanitarian Disaster Institute

Your gift to HDI will position Wheaton College as the global hub for Christian education and thought-leadership navigating humanity’s most complex and catastrophic challenges.

Fully Revised Spiritual First Aid Certification Course

Trauma is complex; helping doesn’t have to be. With our fully-revised Spiritual First Aid Certification Course, you’ll get a simple path to follow, learn a proven step-by-step framework, and gain practical tools that make it easier to recognize and respond to everything from mild stress to mass trauma. Enroll in Spiritual First Aid so you can stop worrying if you did enough to help, feel confident in the care you give, and become the helper others need you to be.

Learn More & Enroll

Announcing the New M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership & Trauma Certificate

Hear from program director Dr. Jamie Aten why you should consider an M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership. This new program, the first of its kind in the world, looks at humanitarian and disaster issues through a uniquely Christian perspective. 

Because trauma-informed care is one of the most necessary components of humanitarian and disaster response, we have partnered with the School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy at Wheaton College Graduate School to offer a new Trauma Certificate in a specialized track specifically tailored to humanitarian and disaster responders, starting in Fall 2020.

Learn More About the MA in HDL & Trauma Certificate

Our Impact

Disasters are one of the biggest moral and biblical justice issues facing the church and society, and HDI is at work around the globe equipping the church to help underserved and vulnerable populations challenged by disasters and humanitarian crises. 

Boy balances bag on top of his head through rubble and fallen houses in Haiti after the earthquake

Our Research

HDI’s pioneering research has helped tens of thousands of people live more faithfully and resiliently worldwide by translating scientific advances into training, tools, resources, and interventions for equipping the church to prepare and care amidst disasters.

Humanitarian Disaster Institute Handbook and Resources

Our Resources

HDI offers evidence-informed resources for disaster, spiritual, and emotional care, disaster ministry, and for humanitarian assistance. These resources, which include books, manuals, articles, tip sheets, booklets, and videos, are intended for survivors, helpers, students, and researchers.

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Our Events

HDI hosts lectures, panels, and the Disaster Ministry Conference to equip church and lay leaders to serve amid disasters domestically and internationally, featuring global leaders in disaster ministry, emergency management, humanitarian aid, and the public and mental health fields.

Dr. Jamie Aten, Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Jamie Aten, founder and executive director of Humanitarian Disaster Institute, is a disaster psychologist, author, and speaker. His books include Disaster Ministry Handbook and Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy for Trauma, and he has been published in outlets like The Washington Post, Christianity Today, and Psychology Today as well as various scholarly journals in the field of psychology. In 2016, he received the FEMA Community Preparedness Champion Award at the White House.
Dr. Jamie Aten Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College
Humanitarian Disaster Institute CAPS Team at the Disaster Ministry Conference

Our People

HDI is supported by a community of scholars and advisers from across Wheaton’s campus and around the country.

Our Team

Our faculty and staff advance HDI's mission and interdisciplinary programming through their teaching, research, and writing. Get to know our team.

Our Contributing Scholars

HDI Contributing Scholars are respected psychologists at institutions across the country working with HDI as co-investigators on research projects. Get to know our contributing scholars.

Our Students

With our new MA in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership at Wheaton College Graduate School, there are many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work with HDI. Learn more about student and alumni stories.

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