Humanitarian Disaster Institute & National Association of Evangelicals to Host COVID-19 Church Online Summit

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) are partnering to present the COVID-19 Church Online Summit, a two-day digital summit on March 26-27, which will feature videos from church leaders to help churches respond creatively and well to the coronavirus outbreak. Registration is free; sign up at

“As churches across the country and globe are having to navigate what it means to be faithful amidst this unprecedented public health crisis, we are hearing from many pastors and church leaders that they’re in search of resources and expert voices to help them navigate the practical ministry questions that arise,” said Kent Annan, Director of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership at Wheaton College Graduate School. “We created this summit as a way to bring together the best thinking around how we can be the church in this time of crisis.”

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute is committed to using research to help the church prepare and care amidst disaster and crisis. In addition to hosting the summit, HDI has created several resources for church leaders’ responses to COVID-19 including several manuals (in both English and Spanish), planning templates, tip sheets, and an ongoing Friday webinar series.

“As an academic disaster research center, HDI has spent the past nine years studying how churches can better love and serve their congregations and communities in response to disaster and crisis,” said Jamie Aten, Ph.D., a disaster psychologist and the founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute. “We exist to serve the church in a moment like this, and are committed to providing evidence-informed resources to help churches love and serve while using best practices.”

HDI is partnering with the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 local churches from 40 different denominations and serves a constituency of millions, to provide this resource for the church and serve the body of Christ. Walter Kim, president of NAE, said:

“In moments of crisis, people turn to the church for spiritual comfort and practical assistance. Faith leaders need to be prepared to meet those needs. Resources like the HDI’s COVID-19 Church Online Summit provide sound advice that takes seriously the mandates of faith and the needs of society.”

Together, HDI and NAE will present the two-day digital summit on March 26-27. By registering, summit-goers will receive access to a password-protected website where they can view videos from church leaders responding to practical ministry questions, which they can view at their convenience over the two days.

Sponsors of the event include: The Accord Network, Billy Graham Center,, Development Associates International, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Intervarsity Press, National Evangelical Latino Coalition, and World Relief.

To access all of HDI’s coronavirus resources, visit and follow the hashtag #COVID19church.

About Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College
The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.) is the first faith-based academic disaster research center in the country. Its mission is 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. HDI also recently launched the M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership and a Trauma Certificate to prepare the next generation of humanitarian and disaster professionals to lead with faith and humility, utilize evidence-based practice, and serve the most vulnerable and the Church globally. Learn more at



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