The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) equips students with the knowledge and skills to serve the world’s most vulnerable people and the global church. They are prepared to meet today’s and tomorrow’s humanitarian and disaster-related challenges. Rooted in faith formation, evidence-based practices, and experiential learning, HDI's courses offer a multidisciplinary approach to caring for and empowering those impacted by crises, disasters, and systemic injustices, both in the U.S. and globally.

Through the Undergraduate Humanitarian Action Certificate (HACT), undergraduate students discern about and prepare for a vocational calling in relief and development work. Through HACT, students learn how a diverse range of majors and professional paths can apply to pressing issues like poverty alleviation, refugee support, anti-trafficking efforts, disaster response, and more.

For those aspiring to delve deeper into humanitarian and disaster leadership, HDI also offers an M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership (HDL) degree. This master’s degree is a launchpad for individuals embarking on or advancing within fields such as international humanitarian aid, domestic disaster relief, emergency management, anti-human trafficking, justice advocacy, and refugee care. Learn more here:

Students who declare for the HACT and are also interested in the M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership (HDL) degree will need to be accepted into the accelerated M.A. HDL program and take cross-listed HDL graduate level courses that will fulfill both their undergraduate Humanitarian Action Certificate requirements and can also apply toward their accelerated master’s degree.

Founder and Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute;
     Blanchard Chair and Professor of Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership, 
Jamie Aten
Director, Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership, Kent Annan
Assistant Professor of Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership, Jamie Goodwin

Humanitarian Disaster Institute Courses

HDI 404. Foundations of Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership. (4 Credits)

An introduction to evidence-based and informed psychosocial care skills, programs, and interventions in context to disasters, crisis, and other trauma-inducing events. Cross-listed with HDI 504.

HDI 414. Transformational Development. (4 Credits)

This course prepares leaders to actively engage government and public leaders through policy interventions and advocacy to advance the global struggle for human rights. Students are prepared to advocate for biblical justice by developing the skills necessary to assess and intervene in the policy process as well as to develop and implement advocacy campaigns. Cross-listed with HDI 614.

HDI 424. Refugee and Forced Migration Issues. (2 Credits)

An introduction to various historical and contemporary cases of forced displacement, integrating diverse disciplinary approaches, including legal, political and moral analysis. Cross-listed with HDI 624.

HDI 443. Organizing Emergency Humanitarian Assistance. (2 Credits)

Leadership principles for effective emergency management and humanitarian response will be taught for responding to a wide range of potential humanitarian crises, with an emphasis on evidence-based practices. Cross-listed with HDI 544.

HDI 464. Disaster Management. (2 Credits)

This course focuses on the role leadership plays in guiding disaster operations and policy across all phases of the disaster life cycle (preparedness, response, recovery, and risk reduction). Capabilities and challenges to effective response for a broad range of governmental and non-governmental organizations will be discussed. Each organization active in crisis and disaster has a different role to play in preparedness and response, and students will use their study of different organizations to gain a better understanding of humanitarian and emergency response field. Students will examine operational frameworks commonly in used by national and international emergency response organizations. Cross-listed with HDI 564.

HDI 474. NGO Leadership. (4 Credits)

This course seeks to develop effective humanitarian and disaster non-profit leaders. This course will review the history, theoretical underpinnings, and practice of social entrepreneurship and program and project planning in non-profit and official development organizations. It also covers the corresponding grant-writing, fundraising, business planning and marketing methods, and tools, strategies and techniques used in these activities. Heavy emphasis is placed on a hands-on learning approach, while stressing the importance of understanding and critiquing the conceptual frameworks on which these practices rely from a Biblical perspective. Cross-listed with HDI 574.

HDI 484. Anti-Human Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence. (2 Credits)

This course focuses on understanding issues in human trafficking and gender-based violence and best-practice interventions for prevention, awareness, and care for victims. Cross-listed with HDI 584.

HDI 497. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Program Design. (4 Credits)

This course will introduce students to each of the components within a program design, monitoring, evaluation and learning system, the Christian foundations of MEL, how frameworks are integrated into evaluation, ethics, design, stakeholder analysis, and the implementation of MEL. HDI 594.