After completing this 30 hour online course, you will:

  • Understand and be familiar with the theory of a disaster lifecycle
  • Recognize the basic disaster spiritual and emotional needs within the different phases of a disaster lifecycle
  • Begin to identify and comprehend the scope of disaster response operations – local, regional and national – and the role of disaster spiritual care within those operations
  • Know the effects of proximity and exposure to disaster on long-term spiritual and psychological responses
  • Begin to be able to identify common psychological, emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual reactions following disasters
  • Develop basic helping skills in disaster spiritual care and how to use them (e.g. listening, appropriate use of religious resources)
  • Understand the value of intentional emotional and spiritual presence and how such presence is established and utilized
  • Be familiar with Individual crisis communication & interventions
  • Develop for yourself the essential principles for providing sensitive and appropriate spiritual care in multi-cultural and/or multi-faith environments
  • Identify various socio-cultural standards and issues necessary to provide/facilitate care in a manner that meets the unique needs of various cultural and religious groups
  • Gain familiarity with and understand the National VOAD Disaster Spiritual Care Points of Consensus
  • Have a working knowledge of principles of ethics in disaster spiritual care
  • Acquire self-care strategies
  • Begin to organize and manage how you assess, intervene, methods one might use in interventions and intended effects/outcomes
  • Reflect and develop your own personal disaster spiritual care theological/religious framework that provides insight, understanding, support and hope in times of crisis
  • Recognize healthy & unhealthy coping mechanisms
  • Referrals in general and pastoral counseling referrals in particular

Key aspects of the course include:

  • 100% Distance Learning. 
  • 28 Days Self-Paced = learning at your own pace. The course is composed of nine separate units. As you complete one learning unit, another then becomes available.
  • 30 hours of learning include: reading, knowledge integration activities and demonstration of unit knowledge.


The course registration is based upon a "per-hour" registration fee.

The two basic fees are:

  • ​$10 per hour – Board Certified Chaplains* and CPE Supervisors/Associate Supervisors** -  $300 (proof of status required)
  • $12.50 per hour – All others - $375

​​* Discount applies to BCCs from the following organizations: 
Discount applies to CPE Supervisors/Associate Supervisors from the following organizations: ACPE, NACC, CASC/ACSS

ChaplainDL also offers, as our way of saying thanks to those who are volunteering their time with American Red Cross within the Disaster Spiritual Care function, a special discounted fee.

  • $7.50 per hour - American Red Cross fully GAPped Disaster Spiritual Care Volunteer (proof of status required) - $225



Chaplain Stephen Roberts, BCC is one of the leaders in disaster spiritual care. He is the co-author of: Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Responses to Community, Regional and National Tragedy, 2nd edition and was a member of the writing group which created National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters' (N-VOAD) Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines. Chaplain Roberts has extensive field experience ranging from overseeing 800 chaplains in New York responding to 9/11 to overseeing long-term Hurricane Katrina disaster spiritual care to providing direct disaster spiritual care within New York during its last terrorist attack.  He has taught extensively on disaster spiritual care.


Since American Red Cross launched its disaster spiritual care program two years ago Chaplain Roberts has been repeatedly asked  how those who wish to provide disaster spiritual care, either with ARC or other N-VOAD organizations, can receive high-level usable education to prepare them to respond.

Until now, there has been very little to recommend. That which is offered, is provided infrequently and not easily accessible. Thus, Chaplain Roberts has created ChaplainDL's distance learning course: Introduction to: Disaster Spiritual Care - Basic.

This course will be the first in a series on
​Disaster Spiritual Care.

Introduction to: Disaster Spiritual Care - Basic

28 Day Self-Paced Course

Next Section Starting: Summer/Fall 2024

Registration Open When Course Announced

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