Divina Pastora College was born out of a long-felt need-a high school more accessible to to students from the poblacion,as the only high school in Gapan at that time was one kilometer away,and one that would develop not only the mind and the body but the spirit as well.
Encouraged by the late Rev. MSgr. PAcifio Araullo who had put 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 Mrs. Marta Cuison,Dr. Benedicto C. Cabanes,Dona MAria Payawal, Mayor MAnuel MAllare and judge,Manolo Reyes-decided to open Gapan's parochial high school.
In 1958,the group sought and received 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 towns Patron Saint.After complying with the legal requirements,the Bureau of Private Schools of the Department of Education authorized the opening of the school's first and second year levels in 1959,and the third and fourth year levels the following year.
At the start of the operation of DPA,Msgr. Bernabe,as the school director,invited the CFIC 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.
Many older alumni still fondly remember the names of those pioneer teachers-the soft -spoken Mother Bernadette,them musically-minded Sister Alacoque,the feisty Sister Nicoleta Datayan,the schools first principal,who struck fear among the students despite her small physique,and miss Paz Esquivel,a lay teacher.
In 1960,the kindergarten Department was opened with Sr. Henriette Palomike as its first teacher.
IN 1967,the school administration opted to widen the academy's service to high school graduates from poor families who wanted to pursue higher education.Mr. Antonio Santiago,the assistant principal,together with some Franciscan Sisters sought permission from the Bureau of private schools to open baccalaureate degree courses in Arts Education,Commerce and Junior Secretarial.Thus,the College Department was created,receiving its authority to operate in 1968.With this came a change in the name of the school to 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 the Rev. Fr. Lamberto Bundoc to take over a school director.
The leadership of DPC changed as new parish priests took over,whose duties included running the parochial college.
In 1977,th Rt. Rev Msgr. Jesus B. Estenilo assumed the college presidency and worked for the opening of the elementary of the Elementary Department.Grades I,II,and III were allowed to open with sister MAry Rose had to be transfered to a new assignment.Layman Luisito B. Estrella was tapped to replace her as grade school principal,and he still holds the position up to now.
In 1980,FR. Lamberto Bundoc was asked to lead DPC for the second time. He stayed on until 1986 when he was replaced by Msgr. Felix Hernandez.When the Franciscan Sisters decided to pull out from the school,Msgr. Hernandez promoted Mr. Estrella as principal of both the Elementary and High School Departments, wityh Cornelia Buenaventura as Assistant Principal.
During the term of Msgr. LUciano Gueco who had succeeded Msgr. Hernandez, the need for the services of the relegious sisters was felt.Taking need, the Bishop Sofio G Balce turned to Rev. Fr. Onet Mangahas and the Congregation of of Sisters of Augustinian Missionaries of the Philippines (AMP).They introduced innovations and performed renovations in the school.These moves revived the school's spirit,and brought about an atmosphere of camaraderie and unity in the school community.
Today,the Divina Pastora College continues to grow,but remains focused on its task of preparing the young man and women of Gapan and even neighboring towns to be of service to society,the country and God.