Education for Agape Love and Forgiveness

To love others is to live well.

Join us as we educate for agape love and forgiveness

To love others is to live well

All people regardless of certain characteristics, such as abilities, material possessions, or country of origin possess built-in or inherent worth. We all have within us the potential to be rational and to love. Because of this, no one should be tossed aside, disrespected, or manipulated for others’ gain. Each person is special, unique, and irreplaceable.

Agape is an ancient Greek word that means serving others for others’ sake

For example, if you work in a soup kitchen after having a hard day, but you persevere nonetheless, then you are showing agape love

Agape love is sometimes confused with compassion, kindness, and altruism, however it is not those things. 

What differentiates Agape love is that it is more costly than compassion, kindness, and altruism.

Forgiveness is an expression of agape love as mercy toward a person who has been unfair to you

To understand what forgiveness is, it is important to consider what forgiveness is not:

  • condoning an offense
  • reconciling
  • giving up on justice
  • weakness
  • faking it until you make it 

Decreases Anger

Improves Mental Health Outcomes

In a 2018 study (Rahman et al., 2018), Forgiveness Education was provided to four girls (ages 11-12) who were abuse victims living in the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau in Lahore, Pakistan. The girls who received Forgiveness Education showed statistically higher levels of forgiveness and significantly lower levels of anger when compared to the control group who received behavioral therapy.

Decreases Ethnic Prejudices

Decreases Ethnic Prejudices

A study published the Journal of Moral Education in 2014 (Enright et al., 2014), found that Forgiveness Education decreased prejudice among 132 eighth graders in predominantly black, and predominantly white schools in the Midwest US.

Improves Relationships

Supports Social Relationships

Forgiveness is related to conflict resolution and advice seeking and negatively related to revenge-seeking according to a study in the Journal of Adolescence (Flanagan et al., 2012). Forgiveness Education gives children and adolescents the tools they need to forgive if they choose to do so.

International Educational Conference on Agape Love and Forgiveness

Madison, WI  | July 19-20, 2022

The International Conference invited people from different parts of the world to join in the exchange of ideas about forgiveness education in schools.

Additionally, keynote speakers shared about forgiveness in science, and other topics relating to agape love.

Missed the Conference? 

Watch All Presentations Here for Free

One step toward a better future for children throughout the world.

Pioneering Forgiveness Science

US Team

Robert D. Enright, Ph.D.

Dr. Enright holds the Aristotelian Professorship in Forgiveness Science within the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the founder of the non-profit organization, International Forgiveness Institute, established in 1994. He published the first empirically-based journal article on person-to-person forgiveness with Maria Santos and Radhi Al-Mabuk in 1989 and created the first scientifically-supported forgiveness program, the Process Model of Forgiveness, in the mental health professions.

Moon Evans

Moon is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focus is on moral-virtue sense of forgiveness in children, and their social awareness (healthy emotional and social skills development).

Hannah Rapp

Hannah is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interest is social-emotional learning and child and adolescent well-being.

Jacqueline Song

Jacqueline received her Master of Science degree in Psychology and PhD units in Clinical Psychology in the Philippines and is a member of the International Forgiveness Institute. Her current research concerns forgiveness interventions with people without homes, those who are incarcerated, and those who experience road rage.

Jiahe Wang Xu

Jiahe is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interest is in forgiveness and the development of agape love.

The Team in Israel

Dr. Tali Gal

Dr. Gal is Senior Lecturer at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law, where she is Head of the School of Criminology and a Co-Chair of the Center for the Study of Law, Crime and Society. Her scholarship integrates legal, criminological, and psycho-social knowledge and involves restorative justice, children’s rights, and therapeutic jurisprudence. Prior to joining academia, Tali was the Legal Advisor of the Israel National Council for the Child. ​

Laiki Saban

Activist, teacher and educator. Mediator and facilitator of Restorative Justice processes in communities in crisis and sexual assault. I have a master's degree in criminology and I am a research student at the University of Haifa.

Dalia Tauber

Dalia is an educator andfounder of the Israeli Center for Restorative Practices and facilitator of RJ processes in cases of sexual assault. Chair of the Janusz Korczak Educational Institute of Israel. She sees forgiveness as a basis and origin for a real consciousness change, and works to promote the restorative approach in Israel.

Adv. Lior Kovach

Adv. Lior Kovach is a M.A research student at the School of Criminology at the University of Haifa. He is researching "Professional approaches amongst juvenile court players in Israel" for his thesis, guided by Dr. Tali Gal. Academically Adv. Kovach holds an LL.B degree and a Master's degree in Education, Policy and Management. He has 13 years of experience in the education field, as a social guide and coordinator of boarding schools, educator, and a coordinator of pedagogical projects integrating education for social involvement.

Ofer Shorr

Ofer Shorr worked for many years as a literary translator and in localization in the high-tech sector. For the past several years he has been working as a high school literature teacher and educator in a high school in the north of Israel.

Moneera Kaabiya

Moneera is a Law student, working towards her bachelor's degree at the University of Haifa. In addition, she has been certified as a mediator as a result of participation in the alternative dispute resolution clinic at the University of Haifa.

Ahlam Zahalka

Ahlam is in her first year of studies towards a bachelor’s in Law and Communication at Haifa University. In addition, she teaches YAEL and AMIR to students who are starting their academic journeys. Currently, she is working on becoming a certified mediator and serves at the alternative dispute resolution clinic at the University of Haifa.

Nora Shahla Demerdjian

Nora is currently studying Law and Information Systems concurrently for her bachelor's degree at the University of Haifa. In addition, she took part in alternative dispute resolution clinic at the University of Haifa and been certified as a mediator.

Northern Ireland Team

Dr. Jill Magennis

Jill Magennis joined the academic team at Stranmillis University College, Belfast as a Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education in 2016. Prior to this she was a primary school teacher and also held the position of Primary Schools co-ordinator for the Corrymeela Community (Centre for Peace and Reconciliation) working with a range of schools to support cross community programmes. She teaches on the PGCE, B.Ed primary and Early Childhood Studies degree programmes. Her research interests include the role of educators in promoting respect for diversity and peacebuilding in divided societies and pedagogies for supporting the personal, social and emotional development of children.

Dr. Anita Gracie

Dr. Anita Gracie was a history and RE teacher and part-time university tutor in theology. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Stranmillis University College, Belfast where she lectures on the B.Ed primary and post-primary programmes. Her teaching focuses on the curricular areas of religious studies, history, RE and PDMU. Her research interests include the religious education curriculum and pedagogy, newcomer students’ human rights in education and issues surrounding the teaching of history and RE in Northern Ireland.

Taiwan Team

Shih-tseng Tina Huang, Ph.D.

Dr. Huang graduated from UW-Madison and holds a Professorship in the Department of Psychology at the National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan. Her dissertation investigated forgiveness understanding and the relationship with psychophysiological reactions in Taiwanese, is the first empirically-based journal article on person-to-person forgiveness and cross-cultural research in studying Asian sample. She translated the Chinese version of Enright’s Forgiveness Inventory and the several books including “Forgiveness is a Choice”, “Emotional Development”, “The Forgiving Life” etc. She has done research work in Stanford University, University of Toronto, University of Indiana-Bloomington and is a Fulbright Scholar. The research team members include Chiahsuan Huang and Tung-En Hsiao.

Agape Love and Forgiveness Education is sponsored and supported by:

John Templeton Foundation

This project is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The John Templeton foundation supports research into ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries in the pursuit of a world where people are curious about the wonders of the universe, motivated to pursue lives of meaning and purpose, and overwhelmed by great and selfless love.

International Forgiveness Institute, Inc.

The International Forgiveness Institute exists to help anyone–individuals, families, communities, even governments experience the extraordinary benefits of forgiveness. With the correct approach to forgiveness, we can help restore healthy emotions, rebuild relationships and establish more peaceful communities around the world.