Everett L. Worthington, Ph.D.

VCU professor receives $940,000 grant to bolster forgiveness research in Africa

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Everett Worthington, a Virginia Commonwealth University psychology professor, has received a nearly $940,000 grant to promote the study of forgiveness in West and South Africa.

"My life mission is to do all I can to promote forgiveness in every willing heart, home and homeland," said Worthington, a leading international expert on forgiveness. "This project helps empower African researchers to do world-class research that studies forgiveness locally within Africa. I hope it will build an infrastructure of researchers dedicated to studying forgiveness and equipped to do it well."

The grant from the Templeton World Charity Fund will fund a project to identify 20 researchers in the countries surrounding Ghana and 20 in South Africa to upgrade their skills, knowledge and research methods to allow them to better study locally relevant forgiveness issues. The grant aims to see most of the researchers publish at least one paper in a scientific journal, as well as compete for development grants from the Templeton World Charity Fund to expand their work.

"I want to provide funds and training and collaborative opportunities so that can happen and these talented researchers can study forgiveness of people in situations highly relevant to them," Worthington said.

The three-year project, "Can Forgiveness be Strengthened in West and South Africa?" is slated to get underway in mid-August.

Worthington is a professor in VCU's Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences and is director of the department's Counseling Psychology Program. He is the author of more than 35 books and 350 scholarly articles on forgiveness and  other virtues, such as justice, humility and self-control.