AASWSW logo color


Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

Terry Wolfer, PhD, MSW

Making Change Happen

Dr. Terry Wolfer prioritizes deep learning in his students’ development because they will often encounter novel situations when serving stigmatized, oppressed, and disadvantaged clients. His courses on social work practice and evaluation methodology include a capstone course he co-designed, in which students analyze and discuss actual practice dilemmas reported by social workers.  For use in this course, he writes decision cases based on in-depth interviews with social workers. Thus far, he has co-authored six collections of decision cases to help social work students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

Dr. Wolfer also examines the ways congregation-based volunteerism and group participation contribute to health and social capital (i.e., relationships, trust, sense of belonging). And he looks at the ways social workers can facilitate these effects. For one project, Dr. Wolfer oversees field placement of MSW students working with older adults in Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, Jewish, Lutheran, and Korean Presbyterian congregations.

Dr. Wolfer promotes students’ deep learning for two purposes: To help them succeed as professionals and, more importantly, to prepare them for unanticipated future challenges in their work with people who most need their help.

Research Background

Trained as a social worker, Dr. Wolfer uses qualitative and community-engaged research methods to discover effective practices for promoting social capital and health in people and their communities. His work emphasizes educating practitioners and organizations for continuous learning and decision making. Although he uses primarily qualitative research methods, Dr. Wolfer also currently collaborates on quantitative research projects in public health, pharmacy, and religion and science.

Wolfer T

Contact Information
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 803.777.9486
  • pdf icon tinyCurriculum Vita
Major Classes Taught
  • SOWK 718 - Systems Analysis for Social Work Practice
  • SOWK 768 - Social Work in Congregations
  • SOWK 792 - Social Work Research: Single-System Design and Evaluation
  • SOWK 811 - Qualitative Research Methods (doctoral)

#USCCOSW Latest Tweets

© 2018 University of South Carolina Board of Trustees | Privacy Policy