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HDI Hosts Second Annual Online Spiritual First Aid Summit

February 25, 2021

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, Food for the Hungry, and International Justice Mission will present the free Spiritual First Aid Online Summit on March 11 to help churches, organizations, and individuals provide care during COVID-19 and beyond.

Billy Graham Hall in SpringThe Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College will help churches, organizations, and individuals learn how to assess and address the spiritual, emotional, and practical care needs of others during the second annual online Spiritual First Aid Summit on Thursday, March 11. Registration is open at spiritualfirstaidsummit.com

“As the pandemic wears on—with over 500,000 covid-19 deaths in the United States—the spiritual and emotional needs around us are great and growing,” said HDI founder Jamie Aten, Ph.D., Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership at Wheaton College. “The goal of the 2nd Annual Spiritual First Aid Summit is to equip the church with the knowledge, practical skills, and resources to help a world stricken by COVID-19 to begin the process of walking through grief toward hope.”

Available to access for free on or after March 11, the virtual event will include messages from dynamic speakers, as well as free tools and resources designed to support those who provide care or support to others. Upon registering, summit attendees will receive access to a live event page. After the event concludes, content will be available for ongoing access online.

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • John Maxwell, D.Min., The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, Equip, The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation
  • Nicole Martin, D.Min., Executive Director, Trauma Healing, American Bible Society
  • Patrick Lencioni, Founder and President, The Table Group
  • Gary Haugen, J.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder, International Justice Mission
  • Krish Kandiah, Ph.D., Chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board, Department of Education, London, England, United Kingdom
  • Michelle Reyes, Ph.D., Vice President, Asian American Christian Collaborative
  • Danielle Strickland, Brave Global, Amplify Peace, Women Speakers Collective, Infinitum
  • Katelyn Curran, National Director of Church Mobilization, International Justice Mission
  • Carissa Youssef, Vice President, Philanthropy and Public Engagement, Food for the Hungry Canada
  • Jordan Gustafson, Director, Organization Partnerships, Food for the Hungry, and Pastor
  • Kent Annan, M.Div., Director, Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership program, Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Wheaton College
  • Jamie Aten, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership, Wheaton College
  • With more added often: visit spiritualfirstaidsummit.com for updates

Speakers will cover how to assess and address five core needs that the Humanitarian Disaster Institute has identified as critical in the wake of a disaster or time of crisis: 

  • Belonging Needs (relationships)
  • Livelihood Needs (health, finances, resources, employment)
  • Emotional Needs (mental health)
  • Safety Needs (suicide, self-harm, threat to others, domestic violence)
  • Spiritual Needs (faith, spiritual struggles, meaning-making, purpose)

Follow the hashtag #SpiritualFirstAid for event information, as well as for resources to help churches provide spiritual, emotional, and practical care during the ongoing COVID pandemic and beyond.