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Psychology Research at Hope College


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Dr. Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet
Professor of Psychology

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Psychology Internships, Faculty Co-Director
  • Advanced Research Lab in Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Positive Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology


  • B.A. in Psychology and Music from Calvin College, 1991
  • M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University, 1993
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University, 1997

Research and Other Professional Interests

  • Psychophysiology of Emotion
  • Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Psychology and Religion
  • Forgiveness, Justice, Gratitude, Hope, Humility, and Flourishing
  • Selected Publications and Presentations

Brief Biography

Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Hope College. Before joining the faculty in 1997, she trained as a scientist-practitioner clinical psychologist at Purdue University and completed her predoctoral internship at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center affiliated with Duke University. Her teaching responsibilities have included Introductory Psychology, Positive Psychology, Behavior Disorders, Clinical Psychology, Internships, and Advanced Research Lab. In the research laboratory, she has enjoyed mentoring students, many of whom have gone on to graduate school in psychology. She publishes in the field of emotion and psychophysiology research, with a specialized focus on the human experience of gratitude, unforgiveness, forgiveness, justice, humility, and hope. With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Towsley Research Scholar Award, the Faith and Learning Fund, the Frost Center for Social Science Research, and the John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson endowed chair, she has conducted programmatic research on forgiveness, published peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and given professional presentations in local, national, and international venues. Professor Witvliet has mentored dozens of Hope College students in psychophysiology research, many of whom have coauthored journal articles or professional conference presentations with her, and nine of whom have co-authored projects winning Psi Chi Regional Research Awards. She has conducted 100+ media interviews about forgiveness, with her research featured in venues such as Time, Newsweek, O: The Oprah Magazine, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and CNN. One of her great joys as a professor is the opportunity to be a part of the process by which students discern their vocations—the ways in which they can use their God-given gifts and opportunities to meet real needs in this world. Witvliet’s own multi-facetted sense of vocation includes co-parenting four lively children with her husband, John.

Contact Information

Dr. Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet
Hope College Psychology Department
35 E. 12th Street
Holland, MI 49422-9000

phone: 616-395-7167
fax: 616-395-7163