Primary tabs

Contact Constance Joanna Gefvert

Constance Joanna Gefvert

Monastic & Missional

B.A. magna cum laude (Cleveland)

D.D. (Wycliffe), Ph.D. (Minnesota), M.A. (Minnesota)


After a career as a university professor in the USA, Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert (Connie) moved to Toronto to join the Anglican Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, a contemporary monastic community, where she is currently Vocations Coordinator and Coordinator of a program for millenials who are seeking a gap year “immersion” experience in Christian community.

She has been a member of the Wycliffe adjunct faculty for the past 14 years, teaching courses in monastic history and its influence on Anglican spirituality, the new monasticism, contemplative classics, and contemplative prayer.

Connie is also an Honorary Canon of the Diocese of Toronto and serves as Associate Priest at St. John’s Convent and Honourary Associate at St. George on Yonge. She is on the Postulancy Committee of the diocese and especially enjoys mentoring young people preparing for ministry, whether lay or ordained. 

Select Publications and Media:

Current Research and Writing Interests

  • Monastic history and its influence on the missional church
  • The New Monasticism and contemporary forms of Christian community
  • The role of contemplative prayer in clergy health and wellness
  • The potential of the Christian contemplative tradition in the renewal of the church

Books, articles, and media:

  • “The Ancient Paths: Spirituality for Mission,” in Green Shoots Out of Dry Ground: Growing a New Future for the Church in Canada, ed. John P. Bowen.  Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013.
  • “Prefer Nothing to Christ: The Influence of the Rule of St. Benedict on Contemporary Seekers of God,” in Turning the Wheel: Henri Nouwen and Our Search for God, ed. Jonathan Bengston and Gabrielle Earnshaw.  New York: Orbis Books and Toronto: Novalis, 2007.
  • A Journey Just Begun, co-edited with Jane Christmas (Toronto: Dundurn, 2015) 
  • From Creation to Resurrection (Toronto:  Anglican Book Centre, 1989).
  • “Inherited and New Monasticism,” a 75-minute video lecture given for the Canadian Consultation on Monasticism and New Monasticism, St. John’s Convent, March 2014.