The Canadian Society for Spirituality ansd Social Work Beams of light though the clouds

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attention members



Welcome to the website of The Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work*. 

You are encouraged to explore this website and to review the many manuscripts published in the various Conference Proceedings and in the peer-reviewed journals (see Publications).  New Members are welcome (see Membership) and all members are put on our listserve to receive regular updates of conferences, workshops and other related events across Canada and abroad.

2011 Conference

The Sixth North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work will be held June 23-25, 2011, in Washington, DC at The Catholic University of America. Click here for the Conference Brochure
Updated Schedule (June 6)

Other conferences and events of potential interest are listed on our Notices page.

2010 Conference

The Fifth North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work was held at Univeristy of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, June 17-19, 2010. This international conference was the 7th major socail work spirituality conference the CSSSW has organized and is the fifth cooperative effort between the Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work and the Society for Spirituality and Social Work (USA). We have had excellent presentations and registration for the conference. Proceedings have been published on this website and a special issue of scholarly journal Critical Social Work based on presentations at the conference is being prepared.

There is a need for Canadian academics and social work practitioners to come together to discuss the topic of spirituality and social work practice. Issues related to spirituality and social work in Canada will be expressed differently from the American scene as our history is different, we seem less concerned about the separation of church and state and there is stronger emphasis on social change and political action. Despite significant gains in recent years, the Canadian literature on the topic of spirituality and social work, and more generally the literature on spirituality and the helping professions, merits further development. This conference and website contribute to Canadian research and scholarship, and to the creation of a Canadian forum focussing on spirituality and social work.

Since the inaugural confernence in 2002, the four Annual Canadian Conferences on Spirituality and Social Work have taken place in various cities in Canada - Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg, and London and held to immediately precede the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Schools of Social Work.  In 2006, the Canadian and American Societies co-sponsored the First North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work held at Renison College, University of Waterloo. In 2007 the conference was held in Chicago, in 2008 in Fredericton, NB, in 2009 in Los Angeles, in 2010 in Calgary, and in 2011 it will be in Washington.

Several publications have arisen as a direct result of these conferences. The journal publications and Proceedings 2005 and 2006 can be accessed directly from this website (go to Publications).

The Canadian Association for Spirituality and Social Work also has a List Serve which is used to distribute information about spirituality and social work to scholars, practitioners and researchers. Those who wish to distribute items of interest (such as notices of conferences or positions, reviews, opinion pieces, enquiries, ...) or if you wish to be included in this list serve, please foward the information or e-mail address to Dr. John Coates

The conferences and website have been supported by several groups including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, St. Thomas University, the Canadian Associaton for Social Work Education and several of its member schools including the social work programs at Laurentian University, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, and St. Thomas University.

This web-site is one of the vehicles through which Canadian dialogue and scholarship related to spirituality and the helping professions can be developed.

*The Society was formerly known as the Canadian Association for Spirituality and Social Work.

Updated: January, 2011