Wheaton College Color Logo
Humanitarian Disaster Institute Logo White with Shadow
Massive Tornado in a Wheat Field
HDI Cover 4

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. 

Announcing the New M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership

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.

Learn More About this New Program
Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Cars Washed Up in Front of Church
Stay Connected

For regular updates about the work of Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI), including upcoming events, conferences, field work, articles, and more, subscribe to our newsletter.

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.

Our People Variant

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
covers of A Walking Disaster
A Walking Disaster: What Surviving Katrina and Cancer Taught Me About Faith & Resilience

Our founder and executive director Dr. Jamie Aten has a new book, A Walking Disaster: What Surviving Katrina and Cancer Taught Me About Faith and Resilience, out now from Templeton Press. 

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 out 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.

Highlights from our 2016 Disaster Ministry Conference

Events & News

HDI Social Media