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updated: 5/22/2013 11:36 AM

Humanitarian Disaster Institute to Host Disaster Leadership Workship June 4-7

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LaTonya Taylor

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College will present a Disaster Leadership Workshop June 4-7 on the campus of Wheaton College.

The workshop is designed to equip pastors and church leaders to lead their congregations in developing effective disaster ministries. Participants will be given a Certificate of Completion in Disaster Leadership.

The workshop includes sessions on issues including: disasters and theological issues; disaster ministry approaches and models; preparing, maintaining, and protecting church facilities and property; how to work with county, state, and federal agencies; managing volunteers and finances; and spiritual first aid.

Speakers include HDI Co-Directors Dr. Jamie Aten and Dr. David Boan, who teach in the psychology department at Wheaton College; Dr. George Kalantzis, associate professor of theology; Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, coordinator of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance; John Robinson, president of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster; David Myers, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Department of Homeland Security; Chris McElwee, local impact pastor at Wheaton Bible Church; and David Gervino, coordinator of external affairs, DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

"Local churches are uniquely prepared to assist their communities during times of disaster or emergency--they play a very significant role in preparing for and responding to disasters," says Dr. Jamie Aten, co-director of HDI. "Our goal is to provide information, resources, and networking opportunities to equip pastors and other leaders to develop congregations and communities that are more prepared, more effective, and more resilient."

Wheaton College is located at 501 College Avenue in Wheaton. The cost for the four-day conference is $199 per person, or $75 per day. For more information, visit or e-mail Linda Bretz at

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute is the first faith-based academic disaster research center in the country, and one of the few disaster or humanitarian centers in the Midwest. More information about the Humanitarian Disaster Institute is available at