Jamie Aten, Ph.D., is founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College. Follow on Twitter at @drjamieaten or visit jamieaten.com.

Posts By This Author

Stay Home While Celebrating Easter

by Jamie D. Aten, by Kent Annan 04-06-2020

Image via Reuters/Yves Herman

This moment when you’re pausing to re-imagine Easter worship is ripe with possibility. How can you invite folks in the congregation to share and to lead? Yes, you can invite specific individuals to prerecord Scripture readings or prayers, but why not let them share their hearts? Ask a few folks to share, in 60 seconds or less, how they’ve see the body of Christ love and serve during this season.

How to Talk to Your Aging Parent about COVID-19: A Thoughtful Approach to Conversations

by Jamie D. Aten, by Kent Annan 03-17-2020

If you’re more tech savvy, socially networked, or otherwise resourced than your aging parents, you may be tempted to believe that you’re responsible for the way they will weather this season of COVID-19. Invite your loved ones into a conversation that honors all their experience and wisdom. At the same time, be mindful that even though they are your parents, they may need your help taking necessary precautions. Together you can discover and implement measures that support them during these uncertain days.

The Radical Power of Lament

by Jamie D. Aten 04-12-2019

Each spring Lent is a season on the church calendar, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding on Easter, which prepares Christians for Easter. The believer prepares his or her heart to celebrate Christ’s resurrection by embracing practices of prayer and repentance. An important part of experiencing Lent is walking through lament.

6 Things to Remember In the Wake of the Aurora Shooting

by Jamie D. Aten 02-19-2019

City of Lights Community Prayer Vigil in Aurora, Ill. Photo Courtesy of Jamie D. Aten. 

Two days after a brutal workplace shooting in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, where five were killed and six were injured, over 1,000 people joined together for a prayer vigil at the Henry Pratt Company plant, filling the street near the building where the shooting occurred. As several local pastors shared prayers with the huge gathering of mourners, the only sounds that broke the silence between prayers were quiet sobs. Beside a gate connected to the plant, people placed flowers, candles, and signs.

I'm a Christian, Disaster Expert, Psychologist, Researcher, Father, and Friend. We Need Gun Action Now

by Jamie D. Aten 02-23-2018

Bob Ossler, chaplain with the Cape Coral volunteer fire department, places seventeen crosses for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on a fence a short distance from the school in Parkland, Fla. Image via Reuters/Jonathan Drake

As a Christian, a husband and father, a friend, a disaster ministry expert, a researcher, and a psychologist — I believe we need to take action to stop gun violence in our country. Here’s why.

I've Dedicated My Career to Disaster Ministry. Here Are 3 Ways Churches Can Be Prepared

by Jamie D. Aten 11-14-2017

Image via Rick Wilking/Reuters.

I’ve dedicated my career to helping churches prepare for disasters, including mass shootings. And I believe that responding to the Texas church mass shooting with an arms race does more to protect fear than it does to protect our churches. Here are three suggestions I want to offer the U.S. church now.

5 Ways to Help Flooding Victims in Louisiana

by Ed Stetzer, by Jamie D. Aten 08-17-2016

A resident transfers his belongings into a boat after being rescued in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, on Aug. 15. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman 

Thinking of jumping in your car and driving to Louisiana to help those affected by the flood? Wondering how you could mail some food or hand-me-down clothes to help? If you answered yes — don’t do it.

Yet, that is.