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Pastoral Staff

Associate Pastor

“To know Christ, to be known by Christ, and to invite others to know Christ.” These are Neal’s triple passions in life and in ministry.

Neal lives this out as a follower of Jesus Christ, as the husband of Grace, as the father to Daniel and Andrew, born into a large Filipino family, married into a Korean American family, as a friend to many, baptized into the one holy catholic apostolic Church, and as one of the pastors of the Village Community Presbyterian Church. At the Village Church, he lends pastoral, executive, and strategic leadership for: new member and visitor initiatives; the Faith & Work initiative; the communications infrastructure initiative; special events; and the ministries of The Village Church Preschool, Children’s, Youth and Young Adults, GenX-Millennials, families, and older adults.

Concurrently, Neal holds external appointments as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Worship with the School of Theology of Fuller Theological Seminary, Fellow with The Center for Pastor Theologians, and as PhD External Examiner with the Faculty of Theology of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He previously held the appointment of Extraordinary Associate Professor of Practical Theology with the Unit of Reformed Theology of the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. 

Prior to joining the Village Church community, Neal served for 11 years as a solo pastor of a multicultural congregation in New Jersey and served on the faculty of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, where he taught preaching, worship and Presbyterian studies. He was privileged and grateful to have been elected as the Moderator of the 220thGeneral Assembly (2012-14) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), presiding over the plenary proceedings of the Church’s national governing council, and representing the whole Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in various national and global settings including The White House, Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Lebanon, the Philippines, Japan, and France.

Neal has served in national, global and theological education settings, which include: the executive committees of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and World Communion of Reformed Churches (www.wcrc.ch), the Faith and Order Plenary Commission of the World Council of Churches, a trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary, Convener of the Caribbean and North American Area Council, Vice Chair of the General Assembly Council, Moderator and Vice Moderator of the Presbytery of Elizabeth in central NJ.  In 2016, the 222nd General Assembly elected him to be a Trustee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation.

He is a member of both Societas Liturgica, and the North American Academy of Liturgy, and completed service on the editorial board of the peer-review journal, Studia Liturgica.

He is the Book Review Contributing Editor for The Living Pulpit (www.pulpit.org), an on-line journal for pastors.

He has written and co-edited several volumes, essays and articles in the areas of homiletics, liturgics, ecumenics, and pastoral theology. His publications include:

Ascension Theology and Habakkuk: A Reformed Ecclesiology in Filipino American Perspective.  Asian Christianity in Diaspora Series.  (Palgrave MacMillan, expected 2018)

Liturgical-Missional: Perspectives on a Reformed Ecclesiology (Pickwick Publications/Wipf & Stock, 2016), editor

Our Only Comfort: 52 Reflections on the Heidelberg Catechism (Westminster John Knox Press, 2015)

Here, I Am, Lord, Send Me: Ritual and Narrative for a Theology of Presbyterial Ordination in the Reformed Tradition (Resource Publications/Wipf & Stock, 2012)

That They May All Be One: Celebrating the World Communion of Reformed Churches: Essays in Honor of Clifton Kirkpatrick (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), editor

Insights from the Underside: An Intergenerational Conversation of Ministers (Broadmind Press, 2008), editor

Neal holds the Ph.D and M.Phil in liturgical and ecumenical theology from Drew University, the Th.M. in pastoral theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, the M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and the B.A. in Political Science (summa cum laude) and History (cum laude) from the University of California, Davis. He did graduate studies at Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, CA.

Neal loves black coffee, great red wine, reading, walking on the beach, jogging, traveling, watching professional tennis, and hanging out with his family and friends. He has traveled to six continents and has Antarctica on his bucket list.

Neal, his wife Grace, their sons Daniel and Andrew, and their puppy Calvin, live in Carlsbad, CA.

Connect with him by Facebook (/NealPresa), Twitter (@NealPresa), or LinkedIn (/in/NealPresa), and his website (www.nealpresa.com)