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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak, D.Sc.

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel, Ph.D.

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Role of Pastors in Disasters Curriculum Development Project: Preparing Faith-Based Leaders to be Agents of Safety

Randolph Rowel1 / Larry A Mercer2 / Gladys Gichomo3

1Morgan State University

2Washington Bible College

3Morgan State University

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: 10.2202/1547-7355.1872, June 2011

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FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute higher education initiative states that a broad range of college students and professionals need courses that introduce them to disasters and what to do about them. Hundreds of universities have since developed emergency management courses or degree programs at their schools; however, none of these institutions are bible colleges. Because of the critical role of faith-based organizations during response and recovery phases of disasters, a closer examination of ways to make training more accessible to their leaders is warranted. Although a plethora of training opportunities and resources are available to faith-based leaders, very few training initiatives incorporate theological principles for crisis management or target institutions that educate a large portion of leaders of faith communities such as bible colleges and seminaries. The purpose of this article is to introduce emergency management educators and practitioners to a curriculum that addresses barriers to engaging faith-based leaders and volunteers in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities. The article also describes the course development process and content of this culturally appropriate curriculum intended for use in higher education bible colleges and seminaries. Lastly, authors discuss how this course helps to ensure that the legacy of faith-based leader’s involvement in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery will not only continue but will be done more effectively. By informing faculty and administrators of emergency management programs about this initiative, insight on where existing and future programs should focus their efforts is offered.

Keywords: disaster preparedness; higher education; culturally appropriate training; faith-based organizations; curriculum development; bible colleges

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