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311 | The Psychology of Divine Forgiveness within Clinical Practice

Biblical Counseling, Theological Foundations, and Pastoral Care, Friday 9/15 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Workshop Tracks


Jichan J. Kim, Ph.D., M.Div.



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




Forgiveness is a key concept in Christianity. Christian clients are often motivated to practice forgiveness because of their Christian faith. However, their understanding of divine forgiveness can also be a source of confusion. This presentation is aimed to clarify such confusion by elucidating how divine forgiveness is similar to and different from human forgiveness. In particular, given the motivation to emulate God’s forgiveness among Christians, what God does in divine forgiveness that humans in practicing forgiveness do or do not do will be unpacked. Furthermore, both conceptual and operational definitions of divine forgiveness in forgiveness psychology will be considered, and research findings showing the link between divine forgiveness and other types of forgiveness, as well as psychological outcomes, will be discussed. By the end of the presentation, licensed mental health professionals and ministry leaders will gain up-to-date knowledge about the psychology of divine forgiveness applicable to helping clients forgive in their mental health practices.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the relationship between divine and interpersonal forgiveness to Christian clients struggling to practice forgiveness
2. Identify how to encourage Christian clients to forgive with a clear understanding of what humans do when forgiving that differs from what God does when He forgives sinners
3. Analyze empirical findings concerning a sense of divine forgiveness applicable to counseling Christian clients for their psychological health
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