The Reverend Canon Ted Karpf

International strategic planner, fundraiser, international faith leader, administrator, teacher, counselor, spiritual guide, public speaker, facilitator, conference organizer and leader
Boston, USA

The Reverend Canon Ted Karpf, BA, ThM

International strategic planner, fundraiser, international faith leader, administrator, teacher, counselor, spiritual guide, public speaker, facilitator, conference organizer and leader

A cleric in the church for a half century, The Reverend Canon Ted Karpf is an Adjunct Instructor of Religion, Public Health and International Development at Boston University, and an associate of the Boston University Center for Global Christianity and Mission. Ted is a pioneer in the both faith community and community-based public health responses to HIV/AIDS and other health challenges since 1984. 

His last assignment was as Partnerships Officer for faith-based and civil society engagement in the Office of the Director General at the World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations. Beginning in the WHO Department of HIV/AIDS, he pioneered research on faith-based community services and public health responses globally. Also at WHO he received two significant Ford Foundation grants of $1 million to develop the concept of Decent Care, which is described in his book, Restoring Hope, of which he was principal editor in 2008. He now teaches Decent Care methodologies in a variety of institutions and communities around the world.

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

Ted served three years in the US Public Health Service as a liaison specialist for CDC, FDA, HRSA, NIMH and NIH. Previously, he served as a member of the religion faculty of University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, and for many years served on the faculty of the College of Preachers in Washington, DC. He is a certified Gestalt Therapist from the Gestalt Institute of Washington, DC, and is widely-acclaimed spiritual director, keynote speaker, and retreat leader. Ted is a longtime HIV-activist is also human rights activist, and most personally engaged in rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Intersex  (LGBTQI) Rights for more than four decades. A gay man, he is the father of two adult children and a grandfather.

He is a prolific writer and essayist in variety of fields, ranging from public health to spiritual direction. Among the books in which he has written are: Restoring Hope: Decent Care in the Midst of HIV/AIDS; The AIDS Caregiver’s Guide, “Confessions of an AIDS Activist In Times Like These; “AIDS in Africa”, The Witness Magazine; "AIDS and Pastoral Care" The AIDS Caregivers Handbook, and  in The Gospel Imperative in the Midst of AIDS, "Death in the face of AIDS”. He has just published a volume of memoirs entitled, Acts of Forgiveness: Faith Journeys of a Gay Priest in late 2019. Canon Karpf resides in Northern New Mexico, where he is engaged in writing and contemplative spiritual practice.


Explore interviews and presentations with Reverend Ted Karpf:  Center for Global Christianity and Mission, Boston University School of Theology = Interview with Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University = Alumni Spotlight and Interview with author Ted Karpf, Texas Wesleyan College 2021 = Freedom Forum presentation May 2020  Faith: Freedom in Action In Troubled Times = Nicole Pyles interview with Ted Karpf on the publication of Acts of Forgiveness: Faith Journeys of a Gay Priest, March 2020