Edward R. Canda Ph.D.

Coordinator of KU Spiritual Diversity and Social Work Initiative
Primary office:
Twente Hall
Room 203


Edward R. Canda is Professor and Coordinator of the Spiritual Diversity Initiative in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. He joined the faculty in 1989. Before coming to KU, Dr. Canda was on the social work faculty of the University of Iowa for three years. He has an M.A. in Religious Studies (University of Denver, 1979) and MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social work (The Ohio State University, 1982 and 1986). Dr. Canda's research and service address connections between cultural diversity, spirituality, and resilience in relation to health, mental health, and disabilities. For more than 40 years, Professor Canda has been exploring insights from Eastern philosophy for social welfare. He has been a Visiting Researcher or Professor in South Korea at Sungkyunkwan University and in Japan at Ritsumeikan and Doshisha Universities. He has about 200 publications and has conducted about 230 presentations in the United States and in many other countries, especially in East Asia and Central Europe. His most widely cited books are Spiritual Diversity in Social Work Practice (Canda and Furman, 1999/2010, Oxford University Press) and Contemporary Human Behavior Theory (Robbins, Chatterjee, and Canda, 1998/2006/2012, Pearson). Dr. Canda has taught courses mainly in human behavior theory (at BSW, MSW, and PhD levels), qualitative research methods (at PhD level), spiritual diversity in practice (at MSW level), and study abroad in Korea (at BSW, MSW, and PhD levels). In 2013, he received the Council on Social Work Education's Significant Lifetime Achievement Award for innovations on spirituality through scholarship and education.

Teaching Interests

  • Human Behavior Theory
  • Spiritual Diversity
  • Cultural Diversity
  • International Social Work
  • Study Abroad: Social Welfare in Korea
  • Qualitative Research Methods

Research Interests

  • Social Work
  • Spiritual Diversity
  • Cultural Diversity
  • International Social Work
  • Philosophy of Social Welfare
  • Social Welfare in East Asia
  • Health Resilience
  • Mental Health Recovery

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