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Events and Learning Cohorts

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Forgiving Our Neighbors: Healing for Our Hearts, Our City, and World (Learning Cohort)

April 2 @ 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM CDT

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Please join us for a six-session learning cohort inspired by pastor and author Timothy Keller’s final book, Forgive: Why Should I and How Can I?

Whether it’s for a personal offense or unjust treatment by a group or institution, forgiveness is challenging and even, at times, feels wrong. Yet Jesus calls us to forgive. Not just one time, or seven times, but seventy times seven times (Matt. 18:22). In this learning cohort we will explore the many facets of forgiveness—psychological, spiritual, personal, and societal — with leaders for whom this topic is personally and professionally central.

In addition to delving into Keller’s 2022 book, we will reference the Bible and other texts. We will also engage with guest speakers who have deep experience wrestling with forgiveness in the context of their work on individual/interpersonal healing, local racial reconciliation, and peacemaking in Israel/Palestine. If you feel compelled to not only understand forgiveness, but to wrestle with it in the hope of experiencing a new form of freedom, this group is for you. We want to dive deep, thoughtfully and honestly, into this topic.

Meeting Dates

This cohort meets on Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:15 PM, every other week — February 20, March 5 & 19, and April 2, 16, & 30. 

Cohort Size

10 people, plus leaders and guest speakers.

Cohort Leaders

Rebecca Cooks is the Hospitality and Student Enrichment Manager at Upper House and co-leads a track — Living the Good Life — for the Fellows Program. You can learn more about Rebecca’s background here.

Jean Geran, Ph.D., is a visiting scholar at Upper House and co-leads a track—Serving the Common Good—in the Fellows Program. Learn more about Jean’s extensive professional foreign policy, teaching, and non-profit work on human rights, trafficking in persons, child protection and related issues here.

Guest Speakers 

Gayle Reed, R.N., Ph.D., is a Researcher, Program Developer/Lecturer, and speaker for the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) based at UW-Madison. In addition to working more than two decades on research with IFI co-founder Dr. Robert Enright, Gayle teaches developmental courses for the Educational Psychology Department and leads workshops, retreats, and seminars for innumerable organizations dedicated to addressing health care, faith, peace initiatives, sexual exploitation, and justice. She is also helping develop a Forgiveness Certification Program for professional counselors within the UW-Madison Continuing Education Department. Learn more about Gayle’s research here.

Todd Deatherage is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Telos, an organization focused on peacemaking and conflict resolution in the Holy Land. Previously, he spent 16 years in senior positions in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government, including as Chief of Staff in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department and two years as Senior Advisor in the Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. Todd also worked for a decade in the U.S. Congress, including six years as Chief of Staff to Senator Tim Hutchinson. See more of Todd’s bio here.

Book Purchase

Participants are asked to purchase their own copy of Forgive: Why Should I and How Can I? (Timothy Keller, Penguin Books, 2022) from their preferred vendor.





April 2
4:00 PM - 5:15 PM CDT
Event Categories:


Rebecca Cooks


Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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