Divina Pastora College was born out of an aspiration for a high school that would develop not only the mind and the body but the spirit of students as well.
In 1958, encouraged by the late Rev. Msgr. Pacifico Araullo who had put up a school in his parish in Cabanatuan City, the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Paterno E. Bernabe, Gapan parish priest and a group of prominent lay leaders – among them Marta Cuison, Dr. Benedicto C. Cabañes, Doña Maria Payawal, Mayor Manuel Mallare and Judge Manolo Reyes – decided to open a parochial high school.
The group sought the permission from the late Archbishop Emilio Cinense of San Fernando, Pampanga, whose diocese then had jurisdiction over Gapan, to put up the Divina Pastora Academy (DPA), named after the town’s patron saint. Eventually the Bureau of Private Schools of the Department of Education authorized the opening of the school’s first and second year levels in 1959. Then following year, the third and fourth year levels were offered.
At the start of the operation of Divina Pastora Academy, Msgr. Bernabe, as the school director, invited the SFIC Sisters from St. Joseph’s College in Quezon City to help run the school. The sisters came over and converted the parish rectory partly as their living quarters and partly as school building. Those pioneer teachers – the soft spoken Mother Bernadette, the musically-minded Sister Alacoque, the feisty Sister Nicoleta Datayan who served as the first principal and who struck fear among other students despite her small physique, and Miss Paz Esquivel, a lay teacher –are still fondly remembered by older alumni of the school.
Also in 1960, the Kindergarten Department was opened with Sr. Henriette Palomike as its first teacher.
In 1967, the school envisioned to extend academic services to poor families who wanted to pursue higher education through offering of baccalaureate degrees in Arts, Education, Commerce and Junior Secretarial course.
In 1968, the College department was formally offered paving way to its new name, the Divina Pastora College (DPC). Msgr. Bernabe, after serving the parish for some three decades, voluntarily resigned as school head due to his advanced age and failing health, The Bishop of Cabanatuan, Vicente P. Reyes, assigned Rev. Fr. Lamberto Bundoc to take over and served as School Director.
The leadership of DPC changed as new parish priest took over, whose duties included running the parochial college.
In 1977, Rt. Rev. Fr. Msgr. Jesus B. Estonilo assumed the College Directorship and worked for the opening of the Elementary Department, a requirement for the education courses in the College Department. Grade I, II and III were offered headed by Sister Mary Rose Olivar. By the time Grades 4, 5 and 6 were offered, Sister Mary Rose was transferred to a new assignment.
In 1980, Fr. Lamberto Bundoc was assigned to head DPC for the second time until 1986. He was replaced by Msgr. Felix Hernandez.
When the Franciscan Sisters decided to pull out from the school, Msgr. Hernandez appointed Mr. Luisito B. Estrella as Principal of both the Elementary and High School Departments.
Msgr. Luciano Gueco started his term as School Director in 1991. It was during this period when the need for the services of religious sisters was felt.
In 1993, Bishop Sofio G. Balce designated Rev. Antonio Mangahas Jr. to serve the College as Acting School Director and invited the Congregation of Sisters of the Augustinian Missionaries of the Philippines (AMP). During his term, the construction of the grade school building and renovations of the school facilities were made and innovation of the school system was introduced. These moves revived the school’s spirit, and brought about an atmosphere of camaraderie and unity in the school community.
In 1995, Msgr. Felipe Dayao, Jr. succeeded as School Director. During his terms, he purchased a lot and built the College Gym. After completing his tenure in 2001, he was succeeded by Sr. Gilda S. Villador, AMP, who served as School Directress for one (1) year. Sr. Maria V. Paule, AMP, took her turn as School Directress in 2002.
In June 2005, Rev. Jose Elmer I. Mangalinao was appointed as School Director. His Administration focused on constructing a new building for the High School Department. With the help of the whole community, this dream came true. In 2007, the construction of the first floor of the L- building was completed.
In 2008, Rev. Fr. Antonio Mangahas was appointed as School Director and at the same time parish Priest of Three Kings Parish. It was during his time that the title of College President was bestowed considering that the school has tertiary levels.
The Cabanatuan Forum on Catholic Education (C-FORCE) transformed into Cabanatuan Catholic Education System (CACES) with two (2) clusters – the North and South. Divina Pastora College belongs to the South Cluster.
In September 2010, Rev. Fr. Elmer Villamayor was appointed School President and South Cluster Director in concurrent capacity. During his term, the Dynamic Learning Program was introduced as the system of education encompassing the basic education and college tertiary levels. Likewise, the new College building – housing classrooms, offices and commercial spaces at the ground floor was constructed. He served until May 2014 and was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Joseph B. Azarcon as School President.
The Divina Pastora College shall continue its apostolate for the poor and shall be a witness in transforming lives for God and Society.
As a response to the call of evangelization, Divinian education anchors its curriculum on Gospel values, providing learners with opportunities for holistic formation, thus enabling them to contribute to social transformation.
A Catholic school that produces functionally-literate and Christ-centered global citizens
To promote quality Catholic education through standards-based, mission-led and value-laden programs and services