About Joseph Purpura
Father Purpura has held other positions over the past forty years as well including Spiritual Advisor, Orthodox Camp Director, and Pastoral positions. As part of his work teaching youth, Father Purpura has traveled across North America to train other adult youth workers on best practices and strategies for working with young people.
At the moment Father Purpura teaches as Professor of Youth Ministry for the Antiochian House of Studies. Father Purpura has also taught as an Adjunct Professor of Youth Ministry at Holy Cross Orthodox School Of theology and at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. The course that he teaches provides an in-depth look at the different ministries that students will one day be a part of. It also examines best practices of Orthodox Youth Ministry throughout the United States and Canada to help students understand how to relate to youth and aid the Church in forming ministries that attract young people.
Becoming an Orthodox Priest
From the time that he was a child, Father Purpura knew that he wanted to be an Orthodox priest. He enrolled in St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary immediately after graduating high school. During his time in the seminary, he also earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Iona College. After being assigned to work in Connecticut, Father Purpura earned a Master’s Degree in Sacred Theology from Yale University. In 1999 Father Purpura earned his Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological School. His final Doctoral Project was titled “Moral and Ethical Issues Confronting Orthodox Youth.”
Across the years one of the most important lessons that Father Purpura has learned is that all young people have the ability to become leaders and excel regardless of the mistakes that they may have made. Often young people who are labeled “bad” are in fact suffering in some way. Father Purpura enjoys assisting young people on their path of learning from their mistakes and becoming more involved in the Church.
The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph F Purpura presented the Invocation to a crowd of about 1,700 people attending the 2011 CADCA Awards Luncheon on Thursday, February 10, 2011. Fr Joseph served as the Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries.
“Bestow upon us your blessings, favor our holy work at this National Leadership Forum, so that together we may prevent substance abuse, save lives, and raise up generations of healthy youth for the vibrant communities that make an upright and strong nation.”