Changes Taking Place within Emergency & Disaster Management Program at OCU

Major changes have been taking place within the Emergency & Disaster Management program at Ohio Christian University over the past few months.  After an analysis of the needs in the market and a consultation with industry leaders, the Disaster Management and Relief program which began in 2009 has been reworked and is now the Emergency & Disaster Management and Business Program.

A Unique Field

The Emergency Management Program at OCU is unique.  While OCU has been a leader within this field for some time, being one of the earliest colleges or universities to begin offering this degree, we discovered that there was more we could do to prepare our graduates.  Every student that graduates from OCU with a degree in Emergency and Disaster Management will also receive a second degree in Business.  There are currently no other programs operating in the U.S. that are taking such an active role in preparing their students to be top notch leaders in the emergency management field, as well as within the business field.  OCU strives to bring the theories that inform our work together with the practice of it to create a graduate that understands the foundational concepts while also understanding what those theories look like on the ground.

An Exciting Field

This work takes you all over the world and puts you into contact with all types of people.  It’s not for the faint of heart and oftentimes requires a steel reserve.  Emergency Managers might work with political refugees one day and then meet with international military leaders the next.  They might be in a war torn country one week, and then in a major American city working a hurricane response the next.  

A Growing Field

The field is continuing to grow at 8-10% meaning that there are jobs out there.  These are not just government or non-profit jobs, but private companies are beginning to hire emergency mangers to oversee and guarantee that in the case of some emergency or disaster, their business stays viable.  Some of the largest job growth projections are within the private sector. 

A Needed Field

Students within this program will be dealing with and interacting with individuals who are most likely at their lowest point and in desperate need of an ear to pull on, or a shoulder to cry on.  A well informed and trained emergency responder can be the rock that disaster survivors need.    

Many of our graduates are interested in Christian ministry.  Emergency Management is a “new mission field.”  The days of the missionary striking out with a machete are over.  Individuals with a desirable and marketable skill are being invited into countries and regions cut off from other Christian missions.

According to Emergency and Disaster Management Program Director, Dr Thad Hicks, "This field is not for the faint of heart; This degree is for those looking for a thrilling way to extend the Kingdom of God while learning how to protect and prepare individuals, communities, and organizations for life’s hazards and crises."  The recent changes in the program at Ohio Christian University have shaped a program that not only trains individuals on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies, but because of the double major with business, OCU graduates will be better equipped to do it.

About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.