Our programs also are responsive to the recent and ongoing challenges posed by tornadoes, flooding, and other natural disasters as well as continuing issues of racial justice, the tragedy of mass shootings and other human caused disasters. In all of our virtual programs, PDA team members facilitate and offer materials on maintaining self-care and building personal resilience through relationships, story telling and spiritual practices. Participants have the opportunity to share their experiences and wisdom with one another.

Please contact Kathy Riley, PDA national staff and Team Lead for Emotional and Spiritual Care at Kathryn.Riley@pcusa.org for more information or to schedule a program. Our programs are open to teaching elders, ruling elders, deacons and other congregational members. We also offer our programs to non- faith based organizations.


In-person Programs

Resilience & Renewal

This program is designed for those who have been immersed in disaster response or who could benefit from a resilience-focused retreat. Participants explore the essentials of healing and resilience-building tools, including story telling, relaxation and self-care techniques, spiritual practices, and strengthening positive connections with others. Our goal is to provide an opportunity to experience respite throughout the day, learn new tools, and take home a personalized self-care plan that can be used in everyday life. It can be offered in a half-or full-day format.

Tools for Building Resilience

This half-day, interactive program is designed to increase participants’ understanding of their own signs of stress and to teach in-the-moment strategies to handle stress.  Those attending will build on their experience while practicing new tools that have been shown to be effective in sustaining an individual’s capacity to serve. 

Compassion Fatigue

This full-day program helps participants understand concepts of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout. The workshop includes teaching sessions and introduces a range of tools to promote personal well-being in the midst of stressful circumstances.  

How to Offer Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care

Although faith community leaders and others are trained to provide quality emotional and spiritual care, the disaster environment presents distinct challenges. PDA offers training in ‘How To Offer’ appropriate and respectful disaster emotional and spiritual care (ESC). The program is tailored to the group’s needs and can last a half-day or full-day. Disaster emotional and spiritual care training can happen prior to a disaster as disaster preparation or shortly after a disaster in an abbreviated format.

Virtual Programs

Faith Leader Support Discussions

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is continuing to offer virtual, conversational meetings that are tailored to the participants’ situation, and we are now offering a 60 or 90-minute option. A panel of PDA presenters offers opportunities for reflection and tools for self-care and resilience and responds to questions and comments from faith leaders. The 90 -minute program includes opportunities for small-group breakout conversations. 

Resilience & Renewal: A Three-Hour Virtual Retreat

This three-hour virtual retreat is designed to give faith leaders and all who serve others a chance to take a breath and a break in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We offer this program to pastors and separately, to groups of ruling elders and other congregational leaders. Participants experience essential healing and resilience-building tools, including story telling, strengthening positive connections with others, and spiritual practices. This retreat, grounded in relaxation and self-care techniques, provides an opportunity to experience a time of respite. 

Building Resilience 

We offer this 60 or 90- minute Building Resilience program to groups, or the recorded version can be viewed at any time. Members of PDA teach in-the-moment tools to engage the relaxation response in body and mind and engage participants in creating a personalized self- care and resilience-building plan, with attention to the particular issues facing faith leaders.  The 90-minute version offers participants time to share their experiences and helpful practices.

View/download the webinar recording for faith leaders: ENGLISH | SPANISH or general audiences View/download the webinar recording.

 Anyone wishing to view these webinars should also download and print out the accompanying handout (ENGLISH | SPANISH), which participants will use as they participate in the webinar.


Stay Updated on Disaster Responses

Join the Rapid Information Network to receive updates and more.