Rev. Jonathan R. Pia

Rev. Jonathan R. Pia

ImageThe life of Rev. Jonathan R. Pia is a ministry. It is a meaningful journey of service to the Lord.

Pastor Pia was born to a family of strong faith. His father was a pastor and his mother, who took up Christian Education, was not new to church work.

While becoming a pastor (which his brother also did), would not have been a hard choice, it was not what he wanted at first. He dreamed of pursuing a degree in engineering. But in the course of deciding which path he would take, his mother's influence prevailed; he was persuaded to serve the Lord as a pastor — a decision he has never regretted making.

Pastor Pia obtained his undergraduate degree in Theology in 1966 and  his master's degree in Divinity in 1972, both from Silliman University. 

He recalls his childhood as one full of travels. He was born in Tacloban, Leyte but spent his childhood years in Mindanao. Because of his father who was a pastor, he frequently moved from one place to the next — an arrangement he found tiring and emotionally draining because of the numerous goodbyes he had to give which at times made him feel lonely.

But whenever they were set to transfer to another place, Pastor Pia always saw new opportunities to conquer. “I had to accept the fact that we always moved. …Our strong family ties made me easily cope.”

To him, the work of a pastor is very varied. You can be a pastor in a church, a school or a hospital. And throughout the adjustments, he says: “I always read the Bible and I try to follow what Christ wants me to do as his follower.”

Pastor Pia worked as an interim pastor at Silliman in 1967. He left for Cagayan a year later to become a senior pastor. It was in Mindanao where he spent several years, serving a hospital and becoming a school chaplain and director.

ImageFrom 1982 to 2002, Pastor Pia extended his reach in serving God and responded to call to serve in the United States. He was assigned in Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio.

In 2009, he returned to Silliman and served as the Minister to the Parish and Senior Pastor of the Silliman University Church.

Pastor Pia is married to Fe Malayang-Pia. Both are blessed with three children: John Ray, Jeni Rose and Jasmine Ruth; and three grandchildren: Dora Symone, Daniel Romano and Tres.

While he commits himself to the Christian ministry, Pastor Pia says he always does his best in satisfying his role as a husband, a father and a grandfather.

Let’s get to know Pastor Pia more.

Describe yourself in three words.
It’s more than three words: A pastor, one who cares for the church, and one who lives for the name of Christ.

What is your mantra in life?
Being a pastor, my purpose in life is to serve the church.

What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh when I am with family and friends. I cry when I see the church divided and when I see a lot of evil things being done.

What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
I don’t have any favorite time or day because I work in the morning, afternoon and evening every day.

What is your favorite thing to do when not working?
Before I play tennis. Now I play golf and I also read.

What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
My office at the Silliman University Church.

What makes you blush?
When people talk about me — but I don’t blush a lot.

If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Denzel Washington.

Tell us a fact about yourself.
I don’t say much but generally when I say it, I mean it.

ImageWhat’s your favorite game(s) growing up?
I play basketball a lot.

What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Relaxing is when I am sitting down with my friends or just by myself reading a book.

What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I don’t know.

What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
I like a lot of songs but I can’t think of one in particular

What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I sit down, say a prayer and meditate on what to do for the day.

What’s your idea of a family?
Family is where people love and help each other.


(NOTE: “Colleague of the Week'” serves as a window into the life of the faculty and staff members of Silliman University. It seeks to showcase colleagues from different departments and units, and present them as “the” faces that form part of the foundation of Silliman. Featured weekly are faculty and staff who have committed themselves to providing members of the Silliman community a campus experience that cultivates competence, character and faith within one and all. We get to know them as people who like any of us also have their fair share of challenges, successes, and an inspiring story to tell. Not all of them may be popular, but not a single one of them lives a life without hope and meaning to share.)