Disaster Management

Levi Nofziger cuts drywall on a work day at a Habitat for Humanity house in Newton.

About the Program

The Disaster Management program at Hesston College, affiliated with Mennonite Disaster Service, will provide you with the experience, skills, and knowledge you will need to be involved in disaster recovery. You will learn ways to help people recover physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

Scholarships are available for up to $3,000 per year.

Disaster Management FAQs


Disaster Management major click to expand

What is disaster management?

The Disaster Management program at Hesston College prepares students in trained leadership to respond to survivor needs during times of disaster, like in the aftermath of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires and other scenarios. The program is a cooperative venture between Hesston College and Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) to fill those needs, and is built on a solid foundation of spiritual, academic and experiential learning.

Success factors

  • Those passionate about meeting the needs of people impacted by disasters whether natural or man made.
  • Those interested in careers in emergency response or long-term recovery.

Career possibilities

Disaster Management prepares graduates for careers in the nonprofit or public sector in agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Red Cross, Salvation Army and other faith-based disaster response agencies. Students also choose to pursue career paths like:

  • emergency management
  • fire/EMS/call center
  • social work
  • construction management
  • environmental studies
  • engineering
  • business
  • research studies
  • communication
“I have appreciated the Disaster Management program because it is still a relatively new and developing field in general, and as the coursework goes on you understand how many possibilities of employment in the field there are. The program has helped me understand the different aspects of disaster and how many things are related to and affected by them. It has also been beneficial in the Habitat for Humanity project where I have acquired construction skills.”
—Angus Siemens, class of 2018

Majoring in disaster management

  • Develop understanding about the nature of disaster.
  • Recognize the importance of history in disaster response.
  • Examine the management of organizations.
  • Recognize the cycles of recovery and the physical aspects of recovery.
  • Develop understanding of the politics of recovery.
  • Examine funding sources for recovery.
  • Learn construction skills and terminology.
  • Practice leadership skills in disaster recovery.
  • Experience different cultures and broaden your worldview during short-term service and long-term field experience assignments.
  • Help people recover physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually.

Sample curriculum – associate degree in disaster management

Explore the many areas of disaster response and recovery by applying classroom learning with hands-on, real world experiences at functioning disaster sites across the country. Courses in a wide variety of academic departments are blended with more than 50 years of experience brought to the classroom by a partnership with Mennonite Disaster Service. Part of the curriculum is an eight-week Summer Field Experience on an active MDS site between the freshman and sophomore year.

Students in the Disaster Management Program are eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $3,000 per year. To receive funds, students must complete the Disaster Management Application form among other qualifiers.

Mission Statement

The Hesston College Disaster Management Program exists to develop leadership abilities in managing disaster response, emphasizing Christ-like service to socially vulnerable people.

Where are they now? Disaster Management alumni go everywhere.