A Brief Biography

The Reverend Canon Ted Karpf, BA, ThM

A cleric in the church for nearly half a century, The Reverend Canon Ted Karpf is a prolific writer and essayist in felids ranging from public health to spiritual direction and is a widely-acclaimed spiritual director, keynote speaker, and retreat leader He has just completed a memoir entitled, Acts of Forgiveness: Faith Journeys of a Gay Priest, published by McFarland/Toplight books.

Ted is a pioneer in the both faith community and community-based public health responses to HIV/AIDS and other health challenges since 1984. Karpf was as Partnerships Officer for faith-based and civil society engagement in the Office of the Director General at the World Health Organization. He pioneered research on faith-based community services and public health responses globally, receiving two Ford Foundation grants totaling $1.5 million to develop the concept of Decent Care, described in, Restoring Hope: Decent Care in the Midst of HIV/AIDS. He was principal editor. Ted teaches Decent Care methodologies in institutions and communities around the world. 

An Episcopal missionary in the 10-million member Anglican Church of Southern Africa,  he served as Provincial Canon for HIV/AIDS and Deputy to the Archbishop of Cape Town. He was an administrator in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC and a canon of the Washington National Cathedral. Serving as a parish priest and administrator in the Episcopal Church and Anglican communion worldwide, Karpf was made Canon for Life for his global leadership in international health and development in 2008. He received recognition from the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2010 for his contributions to the international health and development through faith-based engagements, and also named a Distinguished Alumnus of both, Texas Wesleyan University (2003) in Fort Worth, Texas, and of Boston University (2007), Boston, Massachusetts.

In the US Public Health Service Ted was a HIV liaison specialist. Karpf was member of the religion faculty of University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, Adjunct faculty at Boston University and the College of Preachers in Washington, DC. He is a member of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at BU, and a certified Gestalt Therapist. Ted is a longtime HIV-activist is also human rights activist, particularly engaged in rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer  persons (LGBTQ) for more than four decades. A gay man, he is the father of two adult children and a grandfather.

Among other publications in which has written are: AIDS Caregiver’s Guide, The Gospel Imperative the Midst of AIDS,  In Times Like These: How We Pray, and Sound Spirit: Pathways to Faith. Canon Karpf resides in Northern New Mexico, where he is engaged in writing and contemplative spiritual practice.

Portrait by Rick Saul. Featured header by Chalom Jamroen.