As disasters increase each year across the globe, research shows that the vulnerable suffer disproportionately from them. Fortunately, the church is uniquely suited by its design to bring much-needed assistance to the vulnerable.

That’s why in 2011, disaster psychologist Jamie Aten founded the Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College. Its mission: to help the church prepare and care for a disaster-filled world.

HDI uses research to create resources and events geared toward students, survivors, helpers, and researchers—and offers a M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership (HDL).

You’ve heard them each week on the podcast. Now take in the HDI origins story:

  • the disaster that prompted Jamie to start studying resilience;

  • the thing Christian nonprofit CEOs kept asking for that prompted the start of the graduate program; and

  • the areas HDL students focus on in their research—and places they end up after graduating.


Humanitarian Disaster Institute website

"On Being a Good Neighbor", sermon draft by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This episode produced by Laura Finch

Theme Song “Turning Over Tables” by The Brilliance

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(Note to the listener: In this podcast, sometimes we'll have evangelicals, sometimes we won't. We thinking learning how to do good better involves listening to lots of perspectives, with different insights and understanding with us. Sometimes it will make us uncomfortable, sometimes we'll agree, sometimes we won't. We think that's good. We want to listen for correction. Especially in our blind spots.)