Disaster Spiritual Care Training

This week at Hartford Seminary, thirty religious leaders and other professionals from many parts of the United States plus several other countries have been engaged in disaster spiritual care training.

This marks the first time this two-day training by National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) has been held in Connecticut. Its curriculum prepares faith leaders or institutional chaplainsto volunteer as disaster chaplains in mass-care settings or to serve as disaster chaplains within their house of worship, religious community or professional institution. It helps other professionals understanding best practices of disaster spiritual care.

The training covers such topics as the emotional and spiritual phases of the disaster ?life cycle,? spiritual first aid, disaster human services and site operations, phases of psychological reaction to disaster, effective caregiver self-care practices, mental health assessment & referral, and the FEMA Incident Command System.

This curriculum was originally developed for Episcopal Relief & Development and New York Disaster Interfaith Services. It is now taught by NDIN, and is offered by a several seminaries and state disaster spiritual care organizations with NDIN?s guidance.

NDIN?s disaster chaplaincy training was one component of a new six-day course in Chaplaincy Models and Methods ? one of two foundational courses for Hartford Seminary?s new Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts.

?Developing disaster spiritual care competency is an important element of Hartford Seminary?s new Graduate Certificate Program in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts,? says Dr. Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate for Interfaith Studies, who directs the program. ?We are delighted that our first effort at hosting such training attracted a smart, engaged circle of participants who confirmed the value of the skills and information NDIN teaches.?

?The Disaster Chaplaincy Training was well-orchestrated,? one student said. ?It was comprehensive, informative, and very practical.?

Hartford Seminary?s new Graduate Certificate Program in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts is designed to deepen understanding of religious diversity and to sharpen professional skills needed for service in religiously complex environments.

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