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The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian

Dean of the Seminary; H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures; Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center


Phone: 215.248.7378

Education: Bachelor of Science (B. Sc) St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, Bangalore University, 1980; Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.), United Theological College, Bangalore (Senate of Serampore College) 1984; Master of Theology (M. Th), Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, Kerala (Senate of Serampore College), 1991; Doctor of Theology (Dr. Theol.), magna cum laude, University of Hamburg, Germany, 1997.
Pastoral Ministry in various parishes of the Karnataka Central Diocese of the Church of South India from 1984 onwards

The Rev Dr J. Jayakiran Sebastian is a Presbyter of the Church of South India, and currently Dean and H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Culture and Director of the Multicultural Mission Resource Center at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has been Professor in the Department of Theology and Ethics at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India, where he has served as Chairperson of the Department and also as Dean of Doctoral Studies at the College. He comes from Bangalore, and following his theological training at the United Theological College, he served both rural and urban pastorates of the Karnataka Central Diocese of the Church of South India and even after becoming a theological teacher continued to be associated with the pastoral ministry by serving as an Associate Presbyter in churches where the Diocese needed him. His Master’s degree is from the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, Kerala, and his doctorate (magna cum laude) from the University of Hamburg, Germany, where his dissertation, which was later published, was entitled “… baptisma unum in sancta ecclesia…”: A Theological Appraisal of the Baptismal Controversy in the Work and Writings of Cyprian of Carthage.

He is a Member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ, USA, and was in residence there from August 2003 to May 2004. In addition to several articles in edited books and Festschriften, various articles have been published in journals that cover a range of interests including the contributions and the ongoing relevance of the study of the early teachers of faith, the baptism and conversion debate, and contemporary missiological issues and themes. Recent publications include his book Enlivening the Past: An Asian Theologian’s Engagement with the Early Teachers of Faith (Gorgias Press, 2009), and “Interrogating Christian Practices: Popular Religiosity Across the Ocean,” in Thomas F. Best, ed., Baptism Today: Understanding, Practice, Ecumenical Implications (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press/ Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2008); “On Walking Through the Cemetery: Continuity and Transformation in Reading Death in an Indian-Christian Community,” in Tat-Siong Benny Liew, ed., Postcolonial Interventions: Essays in Honor of R. S. Sugirtharajah (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009); “The Guide Who Stands Aside: Confessing Christ in India Today,” in Heup Young Kim, Fumitaka Matsuoka and Anri Morimoto, eds., Asian and Oceanic Christianities in Conversation: Exploring Theological Identities at Home and in Diaspora (Rodopi, 2011); and “Intertwined Interaction: Reading Gregory of Nazianzus Amidst Inter-religious Realities in India,” in William F. Storrar, Peter J. Casarella, and Paul Louis Metzger, eds., A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology (Eerdmans, 2011).

He is a member of the North American Patristic Society, International Association of Patristic Studies, International Association of Mission Studies and is the Associate Editor of the journal Mission Studies. He is also a member of the Global Network for Public Theology. He was invited to deliver the Teape Lectures at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities in October 2007.

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| Read an interview with Dean Sebastian and view extended interview videos |

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