Biography of the Reverend Dr. Donald E. Harpster
The Reverend Dr. Donald E. Harpster has served as pastor of United Church of Ludlow for the past eleven years. Rev. Harpster is a native of Pennsylvania growing up in a small village near State College, the home of the Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from that institution. His doctoral dissertation, “Controversy in the German Reformed Church in Pennsylvania With Emphasis on Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia” encompassed his twin passions of history and religion. Following his graduation from Yale University with a Master of Divinity degree, he was ordained at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, State College, Pa. in July 1972. He served churches in Littlestown and Shamokin, Pennsylvania between 1972 and 1986. He was then pastor in Bangor, Maine and moved to Vermont in 1990 to teach history and political science at the College of St. Joseph in 1990. He retired from the College as Professor of History and Political Science and Chair, Arts and Sciences Division in 2011. During his tenure he was active in various local, state, regional and church historical associations. He served as Trustee (1999-2002) and the Educational Coordinator (2002-2006) of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Plymouth Notch, Vermont. In addition to the pastorate in Ludlow, Rev. Harpster serves on the Ministerial Standards and Standing Committee of the Vermont Conference, UCC. This committee has responsibility for authorizing licensed and ordained pastors for a number of associations in the Vermont Conference.