Faculty Profile

Uday Balasundaram

Associate Professor

Religious and Ministerial Studies

Ph.D., M.Div., EMBA, B.Com

Dr. Uday Balasundaram's career in theological education includes a diverse background spanning across the United States and India. He is currently a faculty member at Wesley Seminary since 2023. Prior to this, he has held instructional roles at various institutions including Duke University Divinity School, Dallas International University, South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), Fuller Theological Seminary, and Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Dr. Balasundaram has also served in several pastoral and worship director roles in churches in both the U.S. and India. He is an Arts Catalyst with the Lausanne Movement and serves as an Advisory Board member of APM (Association of Professors of Mission), Board Member of Samadhan, which is a non-profit in India serving persons with intellectual disabilities and their families. Dr. Balasundaram was also previously on the Global Advisory Council for the Global Ethnodoxology Network.

Current research theme:

Dr. Uday Balasundaram's current research interests lie at the intersection of creativity, innovation, and mission.

Dr. Uday Balasundaram's background is in music composition for film and advertising in Chennai, India. He served as a session guitarist and arranger for A.R. Rahman (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) and toured with several bands growing up in New Delhi, India. He graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology (Guitar Performance), Musicians Institute, Los Angeles, and has a diploma in television broadcasting from Crossroads, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Dr. Balasundaram resides in Durham, NC, with his wife, a fellow artist (artresponses.com), and two children.

Personal testimony

When I worked in the Bollywood cine industry, a woman of prayer prayed over me and my drummer friend. After that, I felt a burden lifted off me, and things changed for the better. Inspired by the seed of faith planted in me, I returned to church and eventually pursued theological studies.

I chose to focus my doctoral research and writing on the theme of creativity. This turned out to be a healing process for me. I received a vision from God based on Ezekiel 47, where "everything will live where the river goes" (ESV, v.9, Ezekiel 47:1- 13). This vision inspired me to think of creativity as a flowing river that inspires the diversity of our world to create transforming communities.

With help from God, I came up with the idea of Estuary Cultures, which serves as a metaphor for the ecclesia, or the creative flow that is invited to flow into the world and bring about healing and transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that all mission is ultimately a participation in God's creativity and that creativity inspires diversity for community in Christ.

Intercultural Studies

Asbury Theological Seminary, 2014


Asbury Theological Seminary,

EMBA - Business Strategy

Quantic School of Business and Technology,


Shaheed Bhagat Singh College of Commerce,

Dr. Balasundaram's dissertation titled "Creativity and Captivity: Exploring the Process of Musical Creativity amongst Indigenous Cosmopolitan Musicians (ICMs) for Mission" (2021) has been published by The American Society of Missiology (ASM) Monograph Series, No.51. In addition, a recent article on "Creative Methodologies and New Media Ecologies" has been published online by The Liturgical Conference, Vol 38, 2023, Issue 4, which explores Market Dynamics and Worship Technologies.


Dr. Balasundaram’s recent scholarly presentations include a plenary presentation at the American Society of Missiology, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN (June 2023), "Creatio Dei: Reimagining Mission as Participation in the Mission of God,” and Lausanne South Asia (2023) online consultation, "The critical role of the arts in South Asia: implications for artists and church leaders in an oral-majority context." Dr. Balasundaram conceptualized the UNMUTE project in collaboration with Lausanne ARTS+, exploring the arts' role in solving the world's pressing problems in Creation Care, Freedom and Justice, Families and Children, and the Workplace Lausanne Issue Networks. He hosts monthly Zoom "town halls" with global scholars and creatives, such as "Polyrhythms, Polyphony, and Dissonance: Implications for Cultivating Awareness, Interest, and Engagement,  https://sites.google.com/view/lausannearts/home-call-for-artworks