Neal D. Presa
Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship
Vice President of Student Affairs and Vocational Outreach
The heart of ministry is the triune God of love, the love of God, and how God and God’s love transforms lives and this world. In connecting God’s Word with God’s world, we have a sacred call to bear witness of this God and of this love. What an awesome joy it is to be a part of supporting and equipping God’s people in the holy vocation of preaching and proclaiming God’s Word and work in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.
The Rev. Neal D. Presa, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship and Vice President of Student Affairs and Vocational Outreach. He teaches in the masters and doctoral degree programs, serving as pedagogical head/director of the Transformational Preaching concentration in the DMin program. As a Vice President, he is a member of the Seminary’s Administrative Council, providing executive and strategic leadership in admissions and enrollment management, student services, and accompanying prospective students in their discernment.
Dr. Presa is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) having served in pastoral ministry for two decades with congregations in New Jersey and California. As a pastor theologian, he has served concurrently with faculties in the United States, the Philippines, and South Africa, and is a Fellow with The Center for Pastor Theologians.
He is a past Moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), being elected in 2012 as the highest ecclesiastical officer of the denomination’s national governing council, and at age 35 at the time of his election, is the youngest to serve. He is also a past chair of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Foundation, the oldest religious philanthropic foundation in the United States founded in 1799 which serves as the fiduciary of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) stewarding $2.1 billion assets under management and disbursing about $93 million annually to support mission and ministries in the U.S. and around the world.
Recognized as a national and global leader in the ecumenical movement, he presently serves on the World Council of Churches Central Committee and Executive Committee, Moderator of the WCC’s Finance Policy Committee, a member of the Strategy Planning Working Group, a member of the Green Village Steering Committee, and as Co-Vice Chair of the Third Round of Bilateral Dialogues between the Episcopal Church and the PC(USA). He previously served on the executive committees of both the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, having been the Convener of the Caribbean and North American Area Council from 2006-2011.
He is a member of the Societas Liturgica, the North American Academy of Liturgy, the Academy of Homiletics, and the American Academy of Religion.
He and his family live in Carlsbad, California.
Current Academic Appointments
Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Vice President of Student Affairs and Vocational Outreach, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, 2022-
Affiliate Associate Professor of Preaching, Fuller Theological Seminary
Senior Visiting Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, Union Theological Seminary, Dasmariñas, Cavite (Philippines)
Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology, International Theological Seminary (West Covina, California)
Fellow, The Center for Pastor Theologians (Oak Park, Illinois)
Current Ecumenical Appointments
World Council of Churches (2022-2030):
- Central Committee
- Executive Committee
- Moderator of the Finance Policy Committee
- Strategic Plan Advisory Group
- Green Village Steering Committee
Co-Vice Chair, Third Round of Bilateral Dialogues Between the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Current Grant-Funded Research
“Emerging Filipino American Theology in Relationship to the Economy, Community, and Ecumenical Church in the Context of Covid-19 Pandemic.” Collaborative Inquiry Team Project.
The Louisville Institute, 2020-2023.
Degrees Completed/In Progress
B.A. Political Science (w/ highest honors) and History (w/ honors), University of California, Davis
M.Div., San Francisco Theological Seminary
Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary
M.Phil, Drew University
Ph.D., Drew University
MPS (candidate), Missouri State University
Graduate Certificate in Project Management, Missouri State University
- Worship, Justice, and Joy: A Liturgical Pilgrimage. Foreword by John Witvliet. Worship and Witness series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2023. Forthcoming/Under Contract
- Ascension Theology and Habakkuk: A Reformed Ecclesiology in Filipino American Perspective. Foreword by Reuel Norman Marigza. The Asian Christianity in Diaspora Series. Series editors: Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Joseph Cheah. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
- Our Only Comfort: 52 Reflections on the Heidelberg Catechism. Foreword by M. Craig Barnes. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015
- Here I Am, Lord, Send Me: Ritual and Narrative for a Theology of Presbyteral Ordination in the Reformed Tradition. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications/Wipf and Stock, 2012
- Now To God Who Is Able: Vocation, Justice, and Ministry. Co-editor Anne E. Zaki. Foreword by M. Craig Barnes. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock/Pickwick Publications, 2023. Under contract.
- Poetic Living: Theological Education, Culture, and Pastoral Ministry. Co-editor Jacqueline Lapsley. Foreword by Brian Blount. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock/Pickwick Publications, 2023. Under contract
- Liturgical-Missional: Perspectives on a Reformed Ecclesiology. Foreword by Olav Fykse Tveit. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock/Pickwick Publications, 2016
- That They May All Be One: Celebrating the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Foreword by Setri Nyomi. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010
- Insights from the Underside: An Intergenerational Conversation of Ministers. Foreword by Rodger Nishioka. Elizabeth, NJ: Broadmind Press, 2008
For a complete listing of publications, grant-funded projects, ecclesiastical appointments, pastoral service, and awards, see curriculum vitae (CV).