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The Divine Word Academy of Dagupan (DWAD) is a Catholic, private, secondary school run by the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in Dagupan City, Pangasinan in the Philippines. It is one of the few schools that offer an education in Chinese culture in addition to the regular curricula required by Department of Education Culture and Sports and by private schools, in combination with the ideals of a Catholic education.

Divine Word Academy of Dagupan
Former names
St. Therese Chinese Academy (1957-1960)
MottoLove, Wisdom and Courage, Live in Christ!
TypePrivate, Roman Catholic Coeducational secondary institute of education
FounderBishop Therode Schu, SVD
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Divine Word Missionaries)
Academic affiliations
PresidentRev. Fr. Edgar L. Calunod, SVD, Ph.D
PrincipalAlicia J. Ferrer, MA Ed, MDM
Rizal Ext. Dagupan City
, ,
16°2′24.44″N 120°20′23.91″E / 16.0401222°N 120.3399750°E / 16.0401222; 120.3399750Coordinates: 16°2′24.44″N 120°20′23.91″E / 16.0401222°N 120.3399750°E / 16.0401222; 120.3399750
Alma Mater songDWAD Hymn
Patron SaintSt. Joseph Freinademetz (Feast Day: Jan. 29)
ColorsGreen      and      white

The academy is under the direction of the Divine Word Missionaries and was primarily established for the benefit of the Catholics of Chinese descent, residing in Dagupan City and around the country. However, the school equally welcomes all children regardless of race, color and religious creed.

Its director is Rev. Fr. Edsel Ricafort Demillo, SVD. Its campus minister is Frats. Mark Angelo Ramos, SVD.



Bishop Therode Schu, SVD, expelled from China by the Communists because he preached the Word, found himself in the Philippines in 1953. Still driven to serve the Chinese, his vision was to keep the Word alive by establishing a parish and a school to take care of the apostolic needs of the Chinese. Eduardo Kang Tan, Sr., a prominent Chinese in Dagupan convinced Bishop Schu to establish the parish and school in Dagupan City. In 1955, the Parish of Saint Therese was officially established with Father Joseph Kwo as the first parish priest. At the same time, plans for the school were made with the assistance of concerned citizens led by Eduardo Kang Tan, Sr.

In 1957, the school opened its doors to students from kindergarten to first year high school. It was then known as St. Therese Chinese Academy with 130 enrollees and eight teachers. The first director was Fr. Richard Hartwich, SVD. The other administrative officials were Fr. Peter Joseph Kwo, school treasurer, and Fr. Matthias Ning, school disciplinarian. In 1958, Fr. Aloysius Yang, SVD became the acting school director but was replaced after a while by Fr. Hubert Lohrbach, SVD. In 1960, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) took over the ownership and administration of the school. Henceforth, the school was known as the Divine Word Academy of Dagupan (DWAD). In 1961, Fr. Henry Schmitz, SVD became the school director, a position he was to hold for 15 years. The year also saw the High School Department holding its first Commencement exercise with eight graduates.

In 1976, Fr. Matthias Ning, SVD became the school director, a position he held for 11 years. In 1988, Fr. Jess P. del Rosario, SVD was at the helm as the director of the school. In 1995, Fr. Ambrose L. Ponce, SVD became the campus minister, and then in 1996, he became the school director. Years later he was assigned to Cagayan and Rev. Fr. Crisogono Cancino, SVD, more commonly known as "Fr. Cris", took over while he was the parish priest of St. Therese. In 2009, Fr. Cris was assigned to Naguillan, a town in the province of La Union, north of Dagupan. The principal and assistant parish priest Rev. Fr. Edsel R. Demillo, SVD succeeded as school director.

School directorsEdit

  • Rev. Fr. Edgar Calunod, SVD (2014 to Present)
  • Rev. Fr. Edsel R. Demillo, SVD (2009 to 2014)
  • Rev. Fr. Crisogono Cancino, SVD (2005 to 2009)
  • Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ponce, SVD (1996 to 2005)
  • Rev. Fr. Winston Cabahug, SVD (1992 to 1996)
  • Rev. Fr. Jess Del Rosario, SVD (1987 to 1992)
  • Rev. Fr. Matthias Ning, SVD (1975 to 1987)
  • Rev. Fr. Henry Schmitz, SVD (1962 to 1975)
  • Rev. Fr. Hubert Lorbach, SVD (1958 to 1962)
  • Rev. Fr. Richard Hartwich, SVD (1957 to 1958)
  • Bishop Teodore Schu, SVD (1957)

School administratorsEdit

  • Rev. Fr. Edgar L. Calunod, SVD, Ph.D (Director)
  • Rev. Fr. Joaquin Ferrer, SVD (Campus Minister)
  • Mrs. Alicia J. Ferrer, MA Ed, MDM (School Principal)