The Reverend Dr. Gary Neal Hansen

The Reverend Dr. Gary Neal Hansen served as Parish Associate at Shadyside Presbyterian Church from March through July 2022.

In this part-time role, the Reverend Dr. Hansen supported the Board of Deacons and the Care Team, provided compassionate pastoral care, planned and taught adult Christian education studies, and shared preaching and worship leadership responsibilities with our pastors. In these and other efforts, he provided much-needed leadership for our Parish Life Ministries during the medical leave of the Reverend Lynn M. Portz and after her subsequent retirement. Despite the temporary nature of this position, he fully engaged in the work of Christ’s Church with our congregation during this critical time. Shadyside Presbyterian Church is grateful for all the ways in which he served among us and for the unique gifts which he brought to this ministry.

For many years, Dr. Hansen was a professor of Church history at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He is the author of the award-winning book, Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers (InterVarsity Press, 2012). He was ordained to serve as pastor of the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in Belle Mead, New Jersey, while completing his Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Gary moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 when his wife, Dawna Duff, was appointed to the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. In July 2022, Gary, Dawna, and their two children relocated to Binghamton, New York, where Dawna joined the faculty of Binghamton University.

Explore some of Dr. Hansen’s writings on his blog at