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 hold an endowed research professorship and help train clinical psychology doctoral students at  Wheaton College (IL). I’m also a bit of a social entrepreneur. I founded and direct the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, the Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership Program, and the 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 Disaster Ministry Handbook and Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy for Trauma. In 2016, I received the FEMA Community Preparedness Champion Award at the White House. 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.