Dr Uday Balasundaram joined SAIACS in 2018 as a professor of Intercultural Studies with a special focus on integrating the creative arts, theology, and mission. His doctoral research focused on exploring the process of musical creativity among “indigenous cosmopolitan musicians” for mission, wherein he introduces the concept of creatio Dei as a way for theologising through the arts and developing “new spaces” for creative dialogue with others. His paper, “Creativity and Captivity: Developing a Framework for Exploring the Language of Musical Creativity amongst Indigenous Cosmopolitans [ICMs]” was published by NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies). His paper on “Hybridity and Art-Making for Mission” is due to be published by the Lausanne Global Diaspora Network in 2019.
Dr Uday has a professional background in music composition and guitar performance (Musicians Institute, Los Angeles). He worked in the Bollywood film and Indian advertising industry for several years when he responded to God’s call while working with A. R. Rahman in Chennai. Since then he has served in multiple pastoral and worship leadership roles in churches in India and the US. Dr Uday received his Master of Divinity and doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. He taught as adjunct at Fuller Seminary’s Houston campus and at Houston Graduate School of Theology. Prior to joining SAIACS, Dr Uday served as a creativity consultant and missions strategist based in Orlando, Florida, US. He is currently an Arts Catalyst with the Lausanne Movement.
Dr Uday’s wife Sujatha is a visual artist, graphic designer, and art teacher specialising in Christian meditative art at www.artresponses.com. They have two beautiful, young daughters, Nadira (11 years) and Aradhya (9 years).