Responding to Crisis With Care: Biola Hosts Rapid Response Training

Sep. 2, 2009 By Jenna Bartlo

LA MIRADA, CALIF. --- In the wake of previous major national disasters such as the California fires in 2003 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many students and members of the Biola community have felt the urge to respond to those in need. Unfortunately, most are not trained in disaster relief nor are sure of how to help. On September 11 to 12, 2009 Biola University will be the first university to host rapid response training through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team and ministry created by the BGEA sends teams of chaplains into disaster-affected areas to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of hurting men, women, and children.

“We recruit and train the chaplains and volunteers, and then call on them to deploy when the need arises, often at a moment’s notice,” according to BGEA.

The rapid response training seminar gives people the skills and ability to share God’s hope and comfort with those who experience a personal crisis or those in a natural disaster. The two-day “His Presence in Crisis” training will prepare students and the Biola community as a whole to minister more effectively to those in our internal and external communities.

Those who attend the training may apply to become ministry volunteers with BGEA’s rapid response team, therefore being able to assist chaplains in the organization’s disaster response. Also, BGEA is assisting Biola in creating it’s own Soul Care ministry, which would offer prayer to individuals on campus who are struggling in any way. As students have often requested to be excused from classes in the past to help with natural disasters, the BGEA is willing to work with Biola to develop other opportunities for students to assist in crisis response without interfering with their education.

The Department of Spiritual Life at Biola believes this to be the kind of care Biola can and should be offering to those in need - a spiritual and emotional touch that brings the hope of Jesus Christ to those in pain and in an immediate way. This seminar will assist Biola in continuing to impact the world as a first responder through training the community to bring the hope of Christ to individuals who are hurting and those in or surrounding the Biola community.

This training opportunity is open to the community surrounding Biola as well. There are 700 spots available for the training. The seminar will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2009 and end at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2009. Registration will close September 4, 2009.

Watch Rapid Response Introduction Video.


Biola University is a private Christian university located in Southern California on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties in the city of La Mirada. For over 100 years, Biola has remained committed to its biblical foundation, integrating biblical principles with every academic program. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Biola as a “National University,” which is considered the “major leagues” of higher education. In addition to its focus on intentional spiritual development and career preparation, Biola offers a unique academic environment where all faculty, staff and students are professing Christians. With over 145 academic programs in seven schools, Biola offers degrees ranging from B.A. to Ph.D. For more information, visit or call (562) 777 – 4061.

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