Wheaton College

Graduate School

M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership


Wheaton College Graduate Admissions

501 College Ave.

Wheaton, IL 60187

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership

Format: Hybrid

Program Description:

The M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership (HDL) at Wheaton College prepares 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.

Program Distinctives

  • First graduate program to emphasize humanitarian AND disaster preparation with a focus on faith-driven leadership.
  • First CCCU M.A. program to offer in-depth emergency and disaster response training.
  • Housed in HDI the country’s first faith-based academic disaster research center.
  • One of the few M.A. programs in the country to truly teach global and interdisciplinary approaches to humanitarian and disaster assistance.
  • Led by award-winning faculty, including recognitions from FEMA, American Psychological Association, Mutual of America, Outreach magazine.

Faith & Learning

  • Cultivate personal faith and ability to integrate faith vocationally in service of others.
  • Develop technical and faith and learning competencies in every class.
  • Foster integral mission (i.e., holistic transformation) by learning Christ-centered relief and development practice and scholarship.
  • Engage in mentoring relationships that will help you grow spiritually, personally, and professionally.

Flexible Formats
The 40 credit-hour degree has a format that will fit your schedule. Whether you are a new graduate or an experienced leader in the field, we have learning options to fit your life. You can select between the following options:

  • 1-year full-time option with on-campus courses.
  • 2-year part-time hybrid option that offers a combination of on-campus intensive courses and online courses.


  • The M.A. in HDL offers practical, competency-based training.
  • Get involved with our numerous projects, from helping disaster survivors in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to teaching trauma care to refugee pastors in Kenya.
  • Gain valuable field experience through an internship with one of HDI’s global partners in the US or abroad.
  • If you are already in the field, work with our faculty to develop a one-of-a-kind project to help your organization thrive.
  • Develop leadership and evaluation skills by participating in multi-day domestic and international field crisis simulations at Wheaton’s HoneyRock campus.


  • Benefit from HDI’s global network of relationships that will help open doors and advance career opportunities.
  • Being located in the greater Chicago area will give you access to a diverse set of partners and organizations and populations (e.g., refugee) that will create opportunities to engage with global leaders while in residence.
  • Network with distinguished Wheaton College alumni who are leading the way in fields like relief and development and emergency management.
  • Get special access to keynote speakers at HDI’s annual Disaster Ministry Conference and develop invaluable professional connections and relationships.
  • Develop lifelong community with other HDL students, faculty, and staff.

Career-Focused Curriculum
While many job sectors struggle, humanitarian and disaster career opportunities continue to grow. We understand the challenges of landing that first job and what it takes to advance up the career ladder. That’s why we spent several years working to understand what employers look for when making hiring and promotion decisions. We designed our M.A in HDL curriculum around competencies employers told us they want to see in the people they hire or promote.

Facts & Figures

# of Credits Required: 40

Classification: Baccalaureate College—Liberal Arts

Locale: Large Suburb

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