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Outstanding Faculty Awards

Everett Worthington

Commonwealth Professor of Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University

Everett Worthington, Ph.D., is Commonwealth Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he joined the faculty in 1978.

His work grew out of practice as a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Virginia. He developed the internationally used REACH Forgiveness method, which is available in group and couple counseling forms and in workbooks to help people forgive themselves and others. He served as Executive Director of the nonprofit A Campaign for Forgiveness Research from 1998 to 2005, and helped raise $6.4 million to fund forgiveness research. He currently administers a grant to build the research capacity of African researchers to study forgiveness.

Dr. Worthington also has been a pioneer in studying humility, religion and spirituality, and couples therapy. He has published over 35 books and 400 professional articles and chapters. He has given over 1,000 invited lectures and workshops all over the world. He has had an extensive international impact. For example, in 1996 he was Visiting Scholar for the country of South Africa (during which he talked to the Johannesburg Truth and Reconciliation Commission). He also served as Visiting Scholar at prestigious universities such as University of Cambridge.

Throughout his career Dr. Worthington has been involved actively in teaching, mentoring over 50 graduate students, and teaching well over 10,000 undergraduates in Introductory Psychology, Personal Adjustment, and Positive Psychology.

Dr. Worthington was founding editor of a journal on marriage counseling. He is a Fellow of two divisions of the American Psychological Association and of the American Psychological Society. He has received an Honorary Doctorate from Pepperdine University and top awards from four professional organizations. Within VCU he has received the University Award of Excellence and was designated by the Board of Visitors as Commonwealth Professor.

Dr. Worthington received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Psychology (Counseling) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He received M.S. and B.S. degrees in Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Tennessee-Knoxville, respectively. He served as a naval officer from 1970 to 1974.

View Nomination Packet

Everett Worthington


“My ultimate goal for the students] is not merely linguistic competence, but also the cultural competence and awareness that students need to truly communicate.”