Harriet Prichard’s calling to teach led her to study at Princeton Seminary in 1952, after a year at San Francisco Theological Seminary. An early female student at PTS, Prichard graduated with a Master’s in religious education in 1954. After graduation, she was called to University Presbyterian Church in Seattle as the director of Christian education. Two years later, President Mackay invited Prichard to return to PTS as an instructor in Christian education. Prichard was the third woman appointed as an instructor at the Seminary, after Jean Cassat Christman and Dorothy Kirkwood Mooney. She taught classes in the arts in Christian education and in children’s ministry; she also served as director of field education for women students and director of the Reigner Reading Room. After two years as an instructor, she was made assistant professor of Christian education, becoming the first woman to hold the title of professor at the Seminary.
After five years of teaching at PTS, Prichard returned to the church to work with children, serving in several churches as director of Christian education. She later spent seventeen years teaching music at inner-city elementary schools in Los Angeles, California. She continued to advocate for women and to educate her denomination, the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, about the needs and gifts of women. Prichard later served as a member of the GA Mission Council, the Council on Women and the Church (COWAC), and the Council of Theological Education. When members of COWAC visited Presbyterian seminaries in the 1970’s to encourage them to hire more women faculty, Prichard talked with PTS President James McCord and influenced him to hire the next woman professor at the Seminary, Freda Gardner.
During her time working as a Christian educator, Prichard developed the idea for Alternative Gifts International (AGI), an international nonprofit organization that offers alternative markets in schools, social service agencies, clubs, and churches. She served for twenty-three years as the founder and president of AGI, raising $24 million for more than 100 nonprofit organizations and making a significant impact in dozens of countries. After several trips to Haiti, Prichard was moved to act in response to the poverty and environmental ruin that she saw there. She set up The Haitian National Coalition for the Environment (a coalition of forty environmental agencies working with native Haitians to reforest the country) and created the Epiphany Now Foundation to fund the needs of the coalition. Prichard continues to travel the globe to educate churches about the needs of the poor. She sees herself first and foremost as an educator, and says that her time at Princeton, both as a student and faculty member, profoundly shaped her.