Conference Keynote

Bishop Efraim (Ef)Tendero | TBD


Plenary Sessions

Sheryl Haw | TBD


Hugh Heinrichsen Leading Others to Spiritual Maturity: Lessons from the Umpqua Community College Mass Shooting

A disaster does not change the fact that God has appointed pastors, teachers, and other leaders to help others grow into spiritual maturity. Responding to the immediate needs of safety and stability are a priority in light of trauma, but this can also pave the way to addressing and satisfying the deeper, more long-term needs of a person’s soul. Hugh will share how he and his community have responded to the call of Jesus to lead others to spiritual maturity in the midst of disaster and loss.


Dr. Jamie Aten | A Walking Disaster: Cultivating Resilience in Times of Personal Crisis

In this talk, disaster psychologist Jamie Aten shares lessons on cultivating faith and resilience through story. The lessons grew out of his Hurricane Katrina experience and own personal disaster of battling cancer several years later. He will draw parallels between insights gained from these personal disaster experiences and from what he’s learned from studying mass disasters around the globe.


Ed Stetzer | TBD


Kent Annan  | How Slow Kingdom Practices Can Prepare Us for Disaster Response

Kent will share how the 5 practices in his new book "Slow Kingdom Coming" can apply to your work of disaster relief, preparation, and development. These practices can guide both our theological reflection and our practical work. Kent's 20 years of international development work and theological reflection inform these practices and stories.


Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett | Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others: Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue

Trauma work can be deeply rewarding. It can also lead to job-related burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Secondary traumatic stress, or compassion fatigue, can occur when witnessing traumatic events. Compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress can lead to physical and mental health sequelae for those experience them. They can also impair you as a care provider. Self-care is essential for being able to provide compassionate care to others. In this session, you will learn about the causes and consequences of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue, as well as some specific strategies for integrating self-care into your care for others.


Dr. David Boan | Sustainable Community Disaster Risk Reduction

Relief organizations are challenged to engage the local community as partners to create greater community impact.  This is especially true in the areas of disaster risk reduction and climate change, both of which require anticipating challenges rather than reacting to past events.  Current program models emphasize working with the local community as partners and recruiting vulnerable members of the community as collaborators.  Still, research shows that more than 70% of community change programs are not sustained.  A recent program by HDI to create local Communities of Practice for Disaster Risk Reduction shows promise in addressing this problem.  This presentation describes how this program differs from other existing programs, how it was implemented in programs in the Philippines, Haiti, and elsewhere. The key elements for lasting community change are presented, including static versus dynamic capacity, learning networks, and rapid cycles of change.



Breakout Sessions

Rev. David L. Myers | Disaster Engagement with Government, Each Other & Survivors: A Retrospective Philosophy

Engagement is a current buzzword in federal government circles. Offices of public engagement spend many hours and many dollars connecting with many constituencies. Engagement efforts are often driven by outputs: How many people were on the call? Clicked on the headline? Attended the workshop? But are these the right metrics for governments engaging with communities of faith active in disaster? For communities of faith engaging with other communities of faith? For governments and communities of faith engaging survivors? Rev. David L. Myers, senior advisor to the FEMA Administrator and Director of the Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships at DHS, will reflect on a philosophy of engagement based on his seven years’ experience with FEMA. 


Dr. Dave Deuel People with Disabilities in Disaster Risk and Recovery: Serving the Most Vulnerable

The World Health Organization estimates that 15% of the global population experiences disability (2011). What is more, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) reports that the death rate of PWD may be two to four times higher than those without disabilities and that PWD tend to be overlooked in disaster registration systems (Stough and Kang, 2015). In response to these staggering statistics, my presentation will focus on the unique needs of PWD in disaster risk and recovery efforts by raising questions that will improve care for them.

Tom Albinson | Recovery Work: Helping Refugees Recover from Displacement

There are nearly 60 million forcibly displaced people in the world. Recovery from displacement requires more than the services of emergency relief agencies. This session will explore the unique and critical role that the church can play in refugee resilience and recovery.


Roger Sandberg Fragile States – The Most Vulnerable

Who are the most vulnerable? What does life look like for those trapped in places of conflict? What can the Church do and what are we called to do for the most vulnerable?


Dr. Philip G. Monroe | Training and Being Trained: Lessons Learned from Trauma Recovery Partnerships in Rwanda

True international-local partnerships take time, cost money, and are fraught with mis-steps along the way. Despite these challenges, collaborative work produces rich learnings and growth for both sides. This presentation will document important lessons learned from a seven year partnership between American mental health professionals and Rwandese trauma recovery counselors and caregivers.


Kimberly Hayward | Congregational Preparedness

This session will provide an overview of congregational preparedness and the types of tools and resources that houses of worship can draw upon to increase their preparedness level. 

Rev. Dr. Laurie A Kraus | Spiritual Resilience in the Valley of the Shadow

This breakout session will address how disaster response programs can support the emotional and spiritual resilience and recovery of communities impacted by natural or human caused disaster, using the afflicted community's inherent capacity for spiritual resilience as well as resources that may be introduced by the response/recovery community.  Attention will be paid to identifying those most vulnerable in the wake of disaster.


Dr. George F. Rhoades, Jr. | A Biblical and Practical Application of Cross-Cultural Forgiveness

A Biblical review and practical application of forgiveness in an international context. The importance of internal and external forgiveness is presented along with the two sides of forgiveness, i.e. requesting and giving forgiveness. The application of the Biblical principles of forgiveness is also presented with the consideration of Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Judaism religions and people.

Cari Logan | Resiliency and Preparedness: Meeting Needs of Children Post-Disaster 

Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of disaster. This presentation will address the unique needs of children after disasters. Discussion will center around the spiritual and emotional impact of disaster on children and how building resiliency skills for children after disaster can lead to growth for the child and family and renewed hope and strength in the whole community. The presentation will also overview several resources available including Camp Noah: a resiliency and preparedness program for elementary children in communities impacted by disaster.


Marcus Coleman | Reimaging Partnerships in Emergency Management

As the work of emergency management evolves to address new threats, opportunities and communities, social capital is still a premium asset in responding to and recovering from disasters. This presentation will engage participants in a two-way discussion about the significant influence that are changing the way organizations, religious and secular, partner together. This presentation will also highlight resources that are results of existing partnerships between the DHS Center and faith-based and community organizations.


David L. Maack | Serving the Community During Times of Disaster

In this session, we will look at ways a congregation can meet the needs of the community in the aftermath of a disaster by assessing strengths before disaster strikes and developing plans to fulfill that mission.


Elaine Zook Barge | Trauma-informed Care - for Self and Others

In a world of disaster, disease and conflict and violence, the stories of trauma, pain AND resilience are similar across countries, cultures and continents. But too often, trauma is the ‘elephant in the room’, the topic no one dares talk about, but that impacts us all – including the ones caring for the most vulnerable. This breakout session will address the impact of trauma on the body, brain, beliefs and behavior of individuals and communities and highlight some processes for addressing trauma and building resilience which come from the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) program. This session aims to prepare individuals and organizations to be more confident in responding to their own and their communities’ needs.


Dr. Philip Ryken TBD


Elisabeth Ahlquist | TBD


Paul DeHaven | My Journey Through an Active Shooter Situation

After attending the HDI conference in 2015, I left prepared to care for people in our church and community when disaster struck. Six weeks later, my family and I were in the midst of an active shooter situation on a mission trip to Brazil. I will reflect on God's protection and peace during the most frightening hour of my life.

Pre-Conference Workshop

Dr. Jamie Aten & Dr. David Boan | How to Start a Disaster Ministry

A disaster ministry is an ongoing program that expresses the fundamental faith and ministry of the church.  This is contrasted to more reactive programs that respond to a crisis but are exceedingly difficult to sustain over time. In this workshop you will learn: theological and ministry reasons for starting a disaster ministry, how to form a disaster ministry, develop and implement a church disaster plan, how to integrate disaster care across your existing church ministries, and what it takes to make a ministry last over time.

Post Conference Workshops

Dr. Laura Shannonhouse, Dr. Jamie Aten & Dr. David Boan Spiritual First Aid

Spiritual First Aid (SFA) is an evidence-informed intervention that promotes disaster resiliency through spiritually oriented support and helping strategies. SFA is designed to help triage survivors immediately following a disaster by reducing spiritual distress, fostering spiritual support, and cultivating positive spiritual coping.

Jenn Ranter & Jenny Hwang Caring for Refugees