My Story

I am a disaster psychologist, author, and speaker. I help others cultivate faith and resilience amidst personal, mass, and humanitarian disasters.

I don’t just study disasters—I have lived disasters. I am a Hurricane Katrina survivor and a late stage cancer survivor in remission. I channel these experiences into helping others live more resiliently and into helping churches minister more effectively.

I am the Executive Director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership at  Wheaton College (IL). I’m also a bit of a social entrepreneur. I founded the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership Program, and Disaster Ministry Conference.

My publications have appeared in outlets like The Washington Post, Christianity Today,  and Psychology Today. I’ve also published in some of the top scholarly journals in the field of psychology. My psychology of religion/spirituality and disaster research has been supported by over $6 million in grant funding. My latest books are A Walking Disaster: What Surviving Katrina and Cancer Taught Me About Faith and Resilience, Disaster Ministry Handbook and Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy for Trauma. Presently I’m working on finishing up a co-edited book on Refugee Mental Health.

Along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of this work recognized. In 2017 I was given the Higher Goals in Christian Journalism Award (2nd Place) by the Evangelical Press Association. I received the FEMA Community Preparedness Champion Award at the White House in 2016. I was also awarded the 2010 American Psychological Association Division 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) Early Career Award.

I reside in Wheaton, Illinois, with my wife and three children.