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J. Jayakiran Sebastian

H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures and Dean of the Seminary, Vice President of Student Services


Dr. Theol. - Magna cum laude, University of Hamburg, Germany (1997)
M.Th. - Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, Kerala (Senate of Serampore College) (1991)
B.D. - United Theological College, Bangalore (Senate of Serampore College) (1984)
B.Sc. - St. Joseph's College of Arts and Sciences,  Bangalore University (1980)

Rev. Dr. Sebastian's CV

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 Cultures at the United Lutheran Seminary.

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. This engagement continues in the United States through regular preaching and presiding at worship services in congregations in the greater Philadelphia area.

His doctorate (magna cum laude) is from the University of Hamburg, Germany, where his dissertation 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 and the American Academy of Religion.

He is a Member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ, and was in residence there from August 2003 to May 2004. He is a also a member of the North American Patristics Society, the International Association of Patristic Studies, International Association of Mission Studies, and the American Academy of Religion. He has been the Associate Editor and now Contributing Editor of the journal, Mission Studies. He is also a member of the Global Network for Public Theology and is an Advisory Panel member of its journal, the International Journal of Public Theology. He is the Co-editor of the series, Postcolonialism and Religions, published by Palgrave Macmillan, and 13 books have already been published as part of this series (http://www.palgrave.com/jp/series/14535)

He was invited to deliver the Teape Lectures at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities in October 2007.



- baptisma unum in sancta ecclesia…’: A Theological Appraisal of the Baptismal Controversy in the Work and Writings of Cyprian of Carthage (ISPCK, 1997)

- Enlivening the Past: An Asian Theologian’s Engagement with the Early Teachers of Faith (Gorgias Press, 2009)

Recent Chapters in Books/Articles in Journals

- “Evoking the Bible at a Funeral in anIndian-Christian Community," in Tat-Siong Benny Liew and Fernando F.Segovia, eds., Colonialism and the Bible: Contemporary Reflections from the Global South (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018), pp. 187 – 197.

- “Interconnections, Interventions, Intersections, Interpretations: A Methodological Journey through Global Christianity.” Bangalore Theological Forum, Vol. L, No. 2 (December 2018), pp. 88 – 94.

- “Celebrating the Dynamic Legacy of the Reformation –An Indian Perspective,” in Philip D. W. Krey, ed., Reformation Observances: 1517 – 2017 (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017), pp. 43 –68.

- “Neither Fellowship or Patience, nor Toleration or Acceptance:Believing, Belonging, Luther, the Jews, and Questions on Contemporary Nationalism,” in Seminary Ridge Review, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Autumn 2017), pp. 3 – 14.

- “’Only Christ and No Formulation of Christ Can Determine the Frontier’: J. Russell Chandran's Ongoing Challenges to Christian Ecumenism,” in Jesudas M. Athyal, ed., A Light to the Nations: The Indian Presence in the Ecumenical Movement in the Twentieth Century (Geneva:World Council of Churches, 2016), pp. 143 - 152, notes pp. 238 - 240.

- “’Wandering Arameans?’: Interrogating Identity in a Diasporic Society: Dalitness In Indian Hyphenated Americans,” in Exchange: Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research, Vol. 45 (2016), pp. 1 –17.  

- Forthcoming: "Revitalizing the Fading Ecumenical Memory and Reenergizing the Promise of our Ecumenical Future: Can Ecumenism be Taught?" to be published in a Herder and Herder book called The Whole is Greater than Its Parts.

Mailing Address

7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119