Dr. Connie Kvarfordt

This is an upper body shot of Dr. Connie Kvarfordt. Dr. Kvarfordt is smiling and wearing a white sweater

Connie L. Kvarfordt
PhD Program Coordinator

Office: 167 Ferry St., room 211 Windsor, ON N9A 0C5
Phone: (519) 253-3000 ext. 3078
E-mail: ckvarfo@uwindsor.ca

Scholarly Interests/Areas of Expertise

  • Direct Practice and Mental Health
  • Religion/Spirituality in Social Work Practice and Education
  • Mindfulness
  • Transpersonal Theory
  • Survey Research
  • Children’s Spiritual Development

​Educational Background

Ph.D. Virginia Commonwealth University

M.S.W. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

M.Ed. University of Utah

B.S. University of Utah

Professional Designations

Certificate of Marriage and Family Therapy

Registered Social Worker, Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW)


CONNIE KVARFORDT comes to academia with 13 years’ practice experience mainly in the area of mental health. This includes working with children, adolescents, and adults as a school social worker, juvenile court intake officer, crisis-line supervisor, individual and family therapist, and evaluator of programs related to working with people with disabilities. Her scholarship focuses on increasing our knowledge about social work practitioners’ ethical integration of the human dimension of spirituality (also thought of as existential meaning making and/or consciousness development) at the individual level as well as its application to social justice. Transpersonal theory, Buddhist psychology, and the recent proliferation of mindfulness-based therapies as these relate to the experiences of adversity and wellbeing are of particular interest to her current scholarship. She primarily teaches direct practice courses with individuals and families. Her teaching pedagogy includes developing and facilitating experiential and reflective learning activities as it pertains to skill acquisition.   

Awards and Recognition

2011 – 2017 Service Award: Board Member and Vice President of Board for Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association (BANA), Windsor, Ontario

2013 Celebration of Contribution: Centre for Executive and Professional Education (CEPE), University of Windsor, Ontario

2010 Best Quantitative Empirical Article of 2009: Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE)

2010 Certificate for Academic Integrity, University of Windsor, Ontario

2008 Nominated for Annual Ontario Association of Social Workers (Southwestern Branch) Distinguished Service Award

Administrative Roles

2021 – present PhD Program Coordinator

2009 – 2014 Coordinator of Off-Campus Programs: MSW for Working Professionals

2007 – 2009 Graduate Program Coordinator                                         

Professional Service Roles

2020 – present Advisory Board Member of Child Friendly Faith Project (CFFP). https://childfriendlyfaith.org/

2020 – present Faculty Liaison Board of Directors for Ontario Association of Social Workers (Southwestern Branch).

2005-2008 Faculty Liaison and Board of Directors for Ontario Association of Social Workers (Southwestern Branch).

Media Activities

Radio interview AM 800 CKLW, What social workers need to know about religious and spiritual abuse. Melanie Deveaux Show, Windsor, Ontario (2007).

Daily News, University of Windsor, Study says most social workers see spiritual abuse. (2007).

Courses Taught

SWRK 3118 Meeting Human Needs through Social Work
SWRK 3210 Social Work and Diversity
SWRK 3304 Professional Communications in Generalist Social Work Practice
SWRK 3336 Theory and Practice of Social Work with Individuals
SWRK 3338 Theory and Practice of Social Work with Families
SWRK 3430 Integration Seminar
SWRK 8531 Social Work Practice with Individuals
SWRK 8547 Advanced Social Work Research: Practice Evaluation
SWRK 8550 Social Work Values, Ethics and Anti-Oppressive Practice
SWRK 8621 Social Justice and Social Change
SWRK 8680 Advanced Internship Seminar

Selected Community-Based Workshops

Kvarfordt, C. L. (2019, Aug). Mindfulness and Self-Care: New Beginnings, Windsor Ontario

Kvarfordt, C.L. (2019, Fall). Mindfulness 8-Week Workshop: School of Social Work, University of Windsor

Kvarfordt, C.L. (2018, Fall). Mindfulness 8-Week Workshop: School of Social Work, University of Windsor

Kvarfordt, C.L. (2017, Fall). Mindfulness 8-Week Workshop: School of Social Work, University of Windsor

Selected Academic Presentations


Kvarfordt, C. L. (2022, January 27-28) Social work practitioners' attitude and behaviors about religion and spirituality when working with youth: Results of a U.S. and a Canadian Survey. Spirituality in Socio-educational Work, French National Academy for Youth Protection and Juvenile Justice: France.

Kvarfordt, C. L. (2009). What are social workers doing relative to religious and spiritual interventions with youth and why are they doing it?  Fourth North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work, Los Angeles, CA

Kvarfordt, C. L. (2008). Predicting the use of spiritually based interventions with children and adolescents: Implications for practice. 2nd Biennial World Conference – World forum on Youth Studies: Positive Youth Development and Welfare through Strengths & Spirituality: Views from Korea and America, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Peer Reviewed

Rizzo, L. Calderwood, K. A. & Kvarfordt, C. L. (2021). Online traumatic incident reduction (TIR) workshop Participants' Experience, Traumatic Incident Reduction Association: Anne Arbor, MI

Kvarfordt, C.L. & Herba, K. (2016). Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents: A Canadian Survey of Practitioners. [Poster presentation]. Ontario Association of Social Work (OASW) Provincial Conference.

Kvarfordt, C. L. (2015). The role of religion and spirituality when working with adolescents: A survey of social workers and social service workers. International Symposium – What about the Children: An International Call to Action, Windsor, Ontario

Kvarfordt, C. L. (2014). Viewing practice with children and youth from a spiritual dimension. Phi Alpha Honor Society, School of Social Work, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario.

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications and Technical Reports

Calderwood, K. A & Kvarfordt, C. L. (submitted). Exploring peer-counselling to reduce stress among post-secondary education students: Results of a pilot project. Journal of American College Health.

Calderwood, K. A. & Kvarfordt, C. L. (2023). Lessons learned from an in-house social work placement: Practice students’ views about Stress Reduction Peer Support pilot project. Social Work Education: The International Journal https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/WMDSQIYPD8UGYVWHCQIB/full?target=10.1080/02615479.2023.2194337

Calderwood, K. A. & Kvarfordt, C. L. (2022). TIR workshops: Can the online format be as effective as in-person? Applied Metapsychology International Newsletter, 20(1), 11-14, ISSN:155-0818. Anne Arbor, Michigan.

Calderwood, K. A. & Kvarfordt, C. L. (2021). How teaching online impacts safety and comfort: Experiences of students and instructors in the context of learning counseling skills online, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 16(2), https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2022.160215

Calderwood, K., & Kvarfordt, C.L. (2021). Stress reduction peer support third-year social work placement pilot project. Technical report to Trent University, Durham campus, Social Work Department, Ontario, Canada.

Calderwood, K. A., Kvarfordt, C. L., & Rizzo, L. (2021). Online traumatic incident reduction training: Student, trainer, and senior trainers’ experiences. Technical report to Trent University and University of Windsor.

Kvarfordt, C. L., & Herba, K. (2018). Religion and spirituality in social work practice with children and adolescents: A survey of Canadian practitioners, Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 35(2), 153-167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-017-0513-5

Kvarfordt, C. L., Sheridan, M. J., Taylor, O. (2018). Religion and spirituality in social work curriculum: A survey of Canadian educators. British Journal of Social Work, 48(5), 1-19   https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcx069

Kvarfordt, C. L., Carter, I., Park, W., & Yun. S. (2014). Integrating research proposals into a field seminar: Feedback from students. Journal of Teaching Social Work, 35(4), 545-569.


Carter, I., Yun, S., Kvarfordt, C. L., & Park, W. (2011). Integrating research activities and field experiences in graduate social work, Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education,14(1), 7-14. http://www.profdevjournal.org/articles/141007.pdf

Gentry, T., Wallace, J., Kvarfordt, C. L., & Lynch, K.B. (2010) Personal digital assistants as cognitive aids for high school students with autism: Results of a community-based trial. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 32(2), 101-107. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699050701810688

Kvarfordt, C. L. (2010). Spiritual abuse and neglect of youth: Reconceptualizing what is known through an investigation of practitioners’ experiences. Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 28(2), 143-164. https://doi.org/10.1080/15426431003708287

Kvarfordt, C. L., & Sheridan, M. J. (2010). Predicting the use of spiritually-based interventions with children and adolescents: Implications for social work practice. Currents: New Scholarship in the Human Services, 9(1). https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/currents/article/view/15885

Kvarfordt, C. L., & Sheridan, M. J. (2009). Understanding the pathways of factors influencing the use of spiritually-based interventions. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(3), 385-406. https://doi.org/10.5175/JSWE.2009.200800071

Gentry, T., Lynch, K., & Kvarfordt, C. L. (2008). Personal digital assistants as cognitive aids for individuals with severe traumatic brain injury: A community-based trail, Brain Injury, 22(1), 19-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699050701810688

Kvarfordt, C. L., & Sheridan, M. J.  (2007). The role of religion and spirituality in working with children and adolescents: Results of national survey. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 26(3), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1300/J377v26n03_01

Kvarfordt, C. L., Purcell, P., & Shannon, P. (2005). Youth with learning disabilities in the juvenile justice system: A training needs assessment of detention and court services personnel. Child and Youth Care Forum, 34(1), 27-42. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-004-0880-x

Shannon, P., Daly, D.C., Malatchi, A., Kvarfordt, C. L., & Yoder, T. (2001). Capacity for statewide implementation of positive behavior supports: A needs assessment strategy. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 3(2), 95-100. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F109830070100300206