College Students Explore the Dangers of Unforgiveness

Apr. 4, 2013 By Jenna Bartlo

Biola University is encouraging emotional, physical and spiritual health through hosting Forgiveness Awareness Week April 8-12 — a week of seminars led by nationally-recognized speakers and researchers Everett Worthington, Johann Christof Arnold, Hashim Garret and others, on forgiveness and conflict resolution.


“Surely now is a time when the world could use some more forgiveness. Americans resent the Muslim world for September 11. Iraqis and much of the Middle East feel humiliated by the United States ... Still, many people hesitate to ask for or grant forgiveness when they feel they have nothing to gain in return,” writes forgiveness researcher Everett Worthington in an article for The Greater Good. However, it is proven that unforgiveness has unhealthy emotional and physical consequences, says Worthington.


New research suggests that forgiveness can benefit people’s health, according to Worthington, who directed A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, a non-profit organization that supports research into forgiving from 1998 - 2005, and wrote Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Theory and Application as well as four other books on forgiveness and marriage.


Arnold marched with friend Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.  He is the founder of Breaking the Cycle — a program that encourages non-violent conflict resolution and forgiveness.


Garrett was shot six times by another boy when he was fifteen years old, causing him to be partially paralyzed from the waist down. He has used his experience to positively influence others, and spent six years presenting the Harvard Violence Prevention Curriculum to more than 15,000 students across the U.S.


Other speakers include husband and wife founders of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism, Chris and Phileena Heuertz, Pastoral Counselor and Church Consultant Kathleen Doyle, professor of communications Tim Muehlhoff, and advocate for forgiveness Police Chief Charles Williams.  View featured speakers bios.


Featuring free various chapels, Q&A sessions, seminars, a Holocaust Art Exhibit and a free movie screening of Academy Award winning Les Miserables, the week is part of Biola’s semi-annual awareness weeks that provide students with resources and educational events to equip them in "real life" areas like addiction, mental health, relationships, sexual violence, and this semester — forgiveness. Awareness weeks help close the disconnect between the intentional curricular instruction students receive in their classes and the natural, co-curricular "instruction" students receive through relationships, dorm life, etc.


View a schedule of events.


For a press pass for specific events, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at 562.777.4061 or jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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