Here, we examined the efficacy of are combinant subunit antigen-based oral vaccine for preventing porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). First, we generated a soluble recombinant partial spike S1 protein (aP2) from PEDV in E. coli and then evaluated the utility of aP2 subunit vaccine-loaded hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate microspheres (HPMCP) and RANKL-secreting L. lactis (LLRANKL) as a candidate oral vaccine in pregnant sows. Pregnant sows were vaccinated twice (with a 2 week interval between doses) at 4 weeks before farrowing. Titers of virus-specific IgA antibodies in colostrum, and neutralizing antibodies in serum, of sows vaccinated with HPMCP (aP2) plus LL RANKL increased significantly at 4 weeks post-first vaccination. Furthermore, the survival rate of newborn suckling piglets delivered by sows vaccinated with HPMCP (aP2) plus LL RANKL was similar to that of piglets delivered by sows vaccinated with a commercial killed porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) vaccine. The South Korean government promotes a PED vaccine program (live-killed-killed) to increase the titers of IgA and IgG antibodies in pregnant sows and prevent PEDV. The oral vaccine strategy described herein, which is based on a safe and efficient recombinant subunit antigen, is an alternative PED vaccination strategy that could replace the traditional strategy, which relies on attenuated live oral vaccines or artificial infection with virulent PEDV.