The Rev. Dr. A. Patrick L. Prest, Jr. is a graduate of Lehigh University (Business) and of the Episcopal Divinity School (Cambridge, Massachusetts) with a Masters in Theology.
Dr. Prest completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston, Texas under the Rev. Armen Jorjorian. After a brief job as a chaplain at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, he came to the Medical College of Virginia in March, 1958. His appointment was titled: Director of Religious Activities and Chaplain Supervisor. In those days, the CPE program was accredited by the Council for Clinical Training, one of the four organizations that merged to form the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education in 1967.
Since 1959, over 1300 students have completed the requirements of the residency, intern or extern programs at Medical College of Virginia Hospital. Dr. Prest also established a cooperative program with the School of Theology of Virginia Union University in 1958. From 1958 through 1992, 496 students completed the aliated program.
In 1967, he founded the Virginia Institute for Pastoral Care. VIPCare, an interfaith, not-for-prot counseling and educational institute, is one of the oldest pastoral counseling centers in the nation. VIPCare is accredited by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors as a counseling and training center and is a recipient of the Distinguished Program Leadership Award, given by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors for outstanding contributions in the eld of pastoral counseling.
During the merger of Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia, Dr. Prest was invited to become a full Professor and Chair of the Program in Patient Counseling.
He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1976 by the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. In preparing his biography for this event, he wrote that his "great pride is the one woman who loves him still after 56 years, his five children, six grandchildren and his graduates."