Skip to main content

Professor to present workshop on forgiveness

September 09, 2010

“Understanding and Practicing Forgiveness” will be the focus of a Sept. 25 workshop led by Arizona State University professor Vince Waldron. The event, from 9 a.m. to noon, will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, 4027 E. Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley.

“Forgiveness isn’t easy, and it isn’t always appropriate. This workshop will help participants decide when and why they should forgive,” said Waldron, a professor of communication in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “We will explore the steps of forgiveness-seeking and forgiveness-granting. The material will be useful to anyone who has struggled with forgiveness in a personal or work relationship and to those who simply have an interest in this important topic.”

Waldron said that forgiveness can be a constructive and hopeful response to the hurt we experience in relationships. “In nearly all theological traditions, forgiveness is recommended as an alternative to grudge-holding and revenge,” he said. “It can also be helpful as we seek relational justice and reconciliation.”

Waldron has authored or co-authored four books, including one on the communication of forgiveness in romantic and family relationships. He also studies the ways employees communicate during emotional, stressful, or "risky" work situations, and recently co-authored a book examining a series of these situations, such as responding to negative feedback or persuading a resistant boss to accept new ideas.

In addition to his role as a professor in New College on ASU’s West campus, Waldron serves as coordinator of ASU’s Family Communication Consortium. The FCC includes faculty members from numerous ASU departments and all campuses.

“The FCC is committed to research, teaching, and community service activities that strengthen communication in families of all kinds,” Waldron said. “We recognize that numerous community groups, government agencies, and faith communities provide valuable support for families. One of our operating principles is to build meaningful partnerships with these entities as we share research results, provide instruction, and connect ASU students and faculty with community needs.”

FCC collaborators help to address issues such as helping family members communicate support to a loved one facing a cancer diagnosis or communicate forgiveness when relationships have been damaged; assisting parents and coaches in providing constructive communication at youth sporting events; and helping parents and children use new communication technologies like Facebook, Smart Phones and computer games in ways that improve family relationships.

Waldron’s Sept. 25 workshop serves as the culmination to a three-event series on the topic of forgiveness at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix. More information may be found at