I grew up in Reno, Nevada amid the casino lights, Sierra Nevada mountains, and vast desert land. However, I currently live in San Francisco surrounded by water, fog, and the bustling noises of an urban city. I am a west coast gal, meaning I love seafood, 60 degree weather, and the laid back nature.

I graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago with awards in preaching and theology. Before coming to St. John’s Presbyterian Church in 2003, I completed a full-year chaplain residency program at UCSF Medical Center, where I continue to serve as a member of the Professional Advisory Group for Spiritual Care Services. In 2019, I completed my Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, focusing on leading congregational and organizational change.

I love to teach and have keynoted, preached, and led workshops at a variety of different conferences: youth, women leadership, peacemaking, and worship. I am also actively involved in immigrant justice and affordable housing issues.

I love to bake – partly to justify having a degree in chemistry and partly to tap into the creative side of decorating. Mostly, it helps me let go of intended outcomes when the cake doesn’t come out perfectly and fully celebrate when they come out just as I had hoped.

32 thoughts on “Theresa

  1. Ms Cho –

    Just read your article on SOJO and found it very informative. I believe that women in ministry is vital to the future of the Christian church. (just me but not sure that I am personally ready for a female sr pastor)

    Thanks for your article and just wanted you to know that I read it. I have to communicate to you this way as I have been kicked off Sojo. Guess it is OK for their authors to be on the edge as well as more liberal bloggers. As a conservative – guess I am expendable.

    Really not concerned about them – understanding is much more improtant to me than cloning little ‘Wallisites’

  2. When I asked my mother why they named me Randal, she told me they got it from the Bible. Someone must have written it in the margins somewhere of her Bible. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas.

  3. Dear Theresa Cho,
    We recently read your article “10 Ways to Revive a Dying Church” in Sojourners’s newsletter and thought it was great! We liked it so much we think all the elders in the Presbyterian Church in Canada should have a chance to read it, so we’ like to summarize it (and include a link to your original full version) on our website– in our Elders’ Toolbox. Please email me at to confirm whether or not we can have your permission to use it. (Or does Sojourners hold the copyright for the article?)
    Communications Administrator,
    Elders’ Institute, St. Andrew’s Hall
    Vancouver BC

  4. Theresa,
    First, thanks for all that you post and share so freely. I really appreciate your insight and creativity.
    I have been particularly interested in your prayer stations for toddlers as our church situation (I am the pastor of a small Pres. church in MA) is similar to yours in some ways.
    I am hoping to do prayer stations around Worldwide communion and the peacemaking offering on Oct. 2nd and I was wondering if you had anything you had done that you would like to share 🙂 or ideas that might work. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
    In Christ,

    Chip Stapleton

    1. Hi Chip,
      I have a couple ideas for world communion that may work for toddlers. It is good to keep them simple and tactile. I did a station for feeding of 5000 that I think you could incorporate. Here’s the link:

      Scroll all the way down where you see toddler stations – activity one: about feeling bread at different stages and tasting different breads around the world.

      I always think it is good to have a coloring page option, so for peacemaking, I put out these coloring pages during our 9/11 interactive. Again scroll all the way down.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  5. Theresa…you once wrote an article about some of the experiments that you were doing at Presbytery Meetings in SF…where can I get a link to that?

    I pray you are well…


  6. Theresa, I am a fellow WP blogger and have been following your blog for awhile. I really appreciate your writing–especially your creative ideas for worshiping with children. I am currently working on a family spiritual formation blog project and would love to include your voice among the contributors. If you are interested, please be in touch at practicingfamilies at gmail dot com

    Blessings to you in the new year!

  7. Thank you for sharing your good words of hope at Synod School this past week. Enjoyed the stories as they painted pictures in my mind, and found your messages comforting and challenging at the same time. Blessings on you in your vocation, and everywhere.

  8. Theresa,
    You have come to mind twice this week: once when I rocked my cute jean jacket ala Theresa style and now when I happened on this. I will use these ideas tomorrow night as we kick off Hunger month with our families at Wednesday Faith Night. Thank you for the inspiration. I have thought about you often since I saw you speak at SYNOD school. Keep it up, Lady. You rock.

  9. Theresa, We met at the Celebration of Faith conference at Lake Blackshear in Cordele, GA this past weekend. Thank you so much for what you contributed to the conference. Your class was exactly what our small, struggling church needed. I mentioned that I would send you the link to an organization that promotes congregational singing and hymnody. My son is the Director of The Center for Congregational Song which is part of the Hymn Society in the US and Canada. Here is the link to his page on the Hymn Society website: See under “About” and go to CCS. There are some really great things going on there that I think you would be interested in (like global music, drumming in worship, new hymn writing, all kinds of cool things). Their summer conference this year is in Redlands, CA. Check it out! Blessings, Susan Hehn

  10. Hi Theresa
    I am setting up a spirituality centre at a camp, and was wondering if you had any of your great ideas on stations for younger children. Love the things you do and am looking forward to next spring when you come to the Presbyterian Women’s Gathering in Toronto

    1. Hi Cathy, some of the earlier posts do have actual stations designed for kids. Over time, I tried to make the stations more intergenerational so that parents can do it with their kids. Looking forward to Toronto as well.

  11. Hi Paster Theresa- I want to thank you for posting the script for your Christmas Pageant. We plan to use it this year after a lower than usually voluntary participation from our young people. We are modifying it to use the children who have signed up as the cast and having some older children narrated. You have saved our Christmas Pageant tradition this year. Thank you for sharing your script. Happy holidays.

  12. Hello Theresa,

    I am hoping to find one of Kirsten Malcolm Berry’s prints of the 2 Fishes & 5 Loaves – like the one on your prayer station. Kirsten has sold all her prints and I’m interested in finding one in the secondary market. Do you by chance own one and if so, would you have any interest in selling it?

    Thank You!

  13. Theresa,
    Our mutual friend Marion Park told me that she thought you had created some outdoor prayer stations. I just looked through the tab and didn’t see them. I am looking for inspiration for an outdoor prayer station(s) for Lent (one continuous or rotating weekly). We are located in a downtown area with a good amount of foot traffic past our church. If you have posted about this, can you point me in the right direction? Thank you

  14. Kia ora Theresa. 안녕하세요. (I’m studying Korean at our local Korean School here in Kirikiriroa, Hamilton, NZ). Many thanks for your time and your message yesterday to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, via Zoom. 도와 주셔서 감사합니다.. It was inspiring to hear your insights into intergenerational ministry – what it is (and what it isn’t), with reference to your own rich ministry. I was one of many ‘watching’ on Zoom. Kind regards. Richard Lawrence (Minister, PCANZ, EAL Teacher Waikato Korean Cultural Centre.)

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