Dr John Arun Kumar

John Arun Kumar

Dr Arun is a professor of Hinduism and Head of the Department of Study of Religions. He also is the director of the Centre for Religious Studies, and of SAIACS’ MA (TS) and PhD (Theology) programmes under the University of Mysore.

Prior to joining SAIACS, Dr Arun served with Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM), a cross-cultural mission work in India and abroad. He worked for nine years visiting various mission stations and helping with building projects the missionaries were working on for the nurturing of new believers in faith. After four years with IEM, Dr Arun and his wife, Sonia, were married and based at Outreach Training Institute (OTI) located in a rural setting in Tamil Nadu, bordering Bangalore. Sonia, who has her master’s in psychology and education, helped with missionary training activities for OTI. Both were also involved in leading short-term mission trips to villages around the institute. In 1995, both Dr Arun and his wife had the opportunity to study at SAIACS. They finished their MA studies in Pastoral Theology and Counselling in 1997. Subsequently, IEM and SAIACS entered into a partnership on the basis that they would be trained further and could help both IEM and SAIACS. Dr Arun continues to teach at OTI during some of their missionary training programmes.


Currently, Dr Arun serves as Catalyst for Hinduism of the Lausanne Movement. He is also a contextual editor for India commentary on the New Testament published by Primalogue.

Dr Arun has authored numerous articles, including, “Poverty and the Poor in the Hindu, Jain and Sikh Religions of India” (Poverty and the Poor in the World’s Religious Traditions, Publisher: abc.clio, January 2019); “Christian Bhakti” (South Asia Bible Commentary, Zondervan, 2015); “Religious art and Symbolism” (South Asia Bible Commentary, Zondervan, 2015); “The Cognitive models among Hindus at popular level and Christian approaches” (Journal of India Missions Association, 2015); “Karma and Fatalism” (South Asia Bible Commentary, Zondervan, 2015); and “The Cognitive models among Hindus at popular level and Christian approaches” (Journal of India Missions Association, 2015).

Dr Arun and Sonia attend Church of South India, Kothanur, Bangalore.


Areas of Focus

  • Religions, especially Hinduism
  • Languages, especially Sanskrit and Arabic
  • Qualitative Research, especially Ethnographic Research
  • Social Anthropology
  • Missions
  • Pastoral Theology and Counselling
  • Geographical Area: South Asia, especially India



  • BE in Civil Engineering, University of Bangalore
  • MA in Pastoral Theology and Counselling, SAIACS
  • PhD, University of Leeds