Dr. Everett Worthington

Dr. Ev Worthington

Commonwealth Professor
Counseling Psychology
800 W Franklin, rm 101
(804) 828-1150

Commonwealth Professor (tenured)
Counseling Psychology (primary)
Social PsychologyHealth Psychology, and Developmental Psychology (secondary)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Virginia
PhD (1978), University of Missouri-Columbia

APS Fellow
APA Fellow (Div 17 Counseling Psychology and Div 36 Religion and Spirituality)

Web sites: Forgiveness and Marriage ResourcesForgiving YourselfThe Africa Forgiveness Project

Research and Clinical Interests

I study (1) forgiveness and related constructs (such as justice, humility, and mercy) and the REACH Forgiveness intervention (which has 22 outcome studies from many labs supporting its efficacy), (2) religion and spirituality in counseling and marriage, especially (but not exclusively) Christianity, and (3) the Hope-Focused Couple Approach to marriage/couple enrichment, which has been adjudicated as one of four having enough evidence to merit a designation of empirically supported. Many publications combine two or three of these topics. I suppose these all would fit under a general heading of Positive Psychology today. Thus, our research lab is the Positive Psychology Research Group.

Selected Publications

Worthington, E. L., Jr., & Sandage, S. J. (2015). Forgiveness and spirituality in psychotherapy: A relational approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Ripley, J. S., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2014). Couple therapy: A new hope-focused approach. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2013). Moving forward: Six steps to forgiving yourself and breaking free from the past. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook/Multnomah.
Wade, N. G., Hoyt, W. T., Kidwell, J. E. M., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2014). Efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions to promote forgiveness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 154-170.
Worthington, E. L., Jr., Berry, J. W., Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., Scherer, M., Griffin, B. J., Wade, N. G., Yarhouse, M., Ripley, J. S., Miller, A. J., Sharp, C. B, Canter, D. E., & Campana, K. L. (2015). Forgiveness-reconciliation and communication-conflict-resolution interventions versus rested controls in early married couples. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(1), 14-27.

Recent Courses

  • Introduction to Psychology, undergraduate level
  • Positive Psychology, undergraduate level
  • Spotlight on Research - Forgiveness: Theory, Research, & Practice, undergraduate level (5 weeks)
  • Forgiveness: Theory, Research, and Practice, graduate level
  • Principles of Psychological Measurement, graduate level
  • Research in Counseling Psychology, graduate level

Recent Grants

Forgiveness in Africa. Principal Investigator. September 19, 2014-September 18, 2017 Templeton World Charity Foundation, $938,248 TC ($838,903 DC).
Relational humility. Principal Investigator (Co-Investigators D. E. Davis, J. N. Hook). January 2010-December 2014. John Templeton Foundation, $344,584 TC ($299,638 DC).
Forgiveness in Christian Colleges. Principal Investigator ( Co-Is: N. Wade, C. Witvliet, S. J. Sandage). September 2001-November 2013. Fetzer Institute, $72,000 TC ($65,000 DC).
Forgiveness and relational spirituality. Principal Investigator (Co-Investigators M. McCullough, S. Sandage). September 2006-August 2010. Fetzer Institute, $350,000 DC and TC.


  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Pepperdine University, May 17, 2014
  • William Bier Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research in the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (APA Division 36), August 2012
  • AACC Silver Award for Outstanding Influence and Leadership in the Development and Advancement of Christian Counseling Around the World, September 30, 2011 (AACC is the American Association of Christian Counselors, membership over 50,000)
  • APA Division 17 (Society for Counseling Psychology) Dorothy Booz Black Award for Counseling Health Psychology, August 2011
  • VCU University Award for Excellence, August 2009
  • Narramore Award for Integration of Psychology and Christianity, Christian Association for Psychological Studies, April 2008

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