Select Page

415 | Promoting Forgiveness and Better Mental Health: Community Campaigns for Christian Character

Clinical Assessment, Research, and Evidence-based Practices, Friday 9/15 2:15 – 3:30 PM, Workshop Tracks


Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




This workshop will describe four community campaigns to promote awareness and experience of forgiveness, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase flourishing. Participants will identify more than 20 practical lessons for licensed mental health professionals and pastors who want to create virtue-promoting campaigns in colleges or churches. In this workshop, scientific research that informs Christian spiritual formation practice will be presented. For example, a recent campaign in Colombia involving students (2,800 of the 9,000) plus professors and staff (Chen et al., 2022) will be presented that yielded effect sizes for this public health intervention that were two-thirds the size of meta-analytically derived effect sizes for all clinical forgiveness interventions (1989 to 2013; Wade et al., JCCP). Furthermore, the 16 types of activities associated with the highest gains in forgiveness, depression, anxiety, and flourishing will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

1. Create public campaigns to promote Christian character and avoid common inefficiencies in setting up church or community-wide campaigns to promote Christian formation, using forgiveness as an exemplar
2. Analyze the evidence-based REACH Forgiveness practice to promote forgiveness in groups, counseling, and DIY workbooks
3. Discuss 20 lessons from research on campaigns to promote virtue to maximize spiritual and mental health in your community or church
Register For World Conference