Friday, June 13, 2014

Duke Jeyaraj Graduates With A Doctor of Ministry Degree: A Report and Thank You Note!

Duke Jeyaraj, on 9th March 2014 graduated with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Asia Bible College, Bangalore (Centre for Global Leadership Development as it is called now). On March 8th, Duke made a presentation of the synopsis of this project before an august audience that included SABC Faculty, SABC board members, Assemblies of God World Mission South Asia leaders, current Doctor of Ministry leaders and prominent local church pastors (hear that speech here: Duke was particularly happy that his local church pastor, Rev. Arlene Stubbs was there. Duke’s first boss post Bible College graduation, Rev. Robert Jeyaraj was also there in this meeting. Duke and Evan were overjoyed to meet with him and pray with him.

Duke also was privileged to be asked by Dr. Basant Prakash, the Dean of Southern Asia Bible College to speak on behalf of the graduating Doctor of Ministry class on the graduation day (see that message here: This was the second time Duke had such an honor, having spoken as a Masters of Divinity Graduate in the SABC graduation in the year 2001 (see that talk here: God is good!

Duke’s project guide was Dr. David Balasingh, a man of God who did back-breaking and brain-storming work with Duke for close to 18 months on this project.

Duke’s project title was this: Developing Strategies for making disciples of India’s Google Generation world over.

For this project Duke interviewed 109 IT/ITES professionals by travelling in person to cities such as Trivandrum, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon and Kolkata, apart from folks in Hyderabad, the city he lives in. By phone, he also interviewed IT/ITES folk working in prominent companies such as Ebay, Google, etc., in the United States, Australia, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc.

Duke began this course in 2009. This nearly-five year journey was possible because God raised a dear family to pay for Duke’s course fees. Also, the supporters of G4 Mission – all Indians – were kind to keep supporting Duke as he studied and ministered. Duke’s family, especially his dear wife, Evan, was of great support. All the wives of the Doctor of Ministry graduates were honoured by SABC for supporting their husbands in the Doctoral journey. She managed the family and the ministry base during the times Duke was away researching or studying. Sis. Sandhya Rodrigues, helped in many ways for this project.

Sandeep Pasupeletti, Arpal Paul, Benaya Vikram and Solomon Hegeler and Nithiraj K were four young IT Pros who helped Duke analyse the raw data of his research through MS Excel sheets/diagrams/graphs.

Pastor Sam Varghese and Pastor Rincy Cherian (Trivandrum). Rev. Dr. Y. D. Jeyaseelan (New Delhi). Rev. Vivek Dhindorkar and Rev. P. Abraham  (Mumbai).  Rev Nana Dar and Rev. Stephen Dar (Pune). Rev. Austin Carter Jones and his dear wife Sis. Jothi Zippiya (Chennai). Rev. Dr. Ivan Satyavrata and Rev. Jacob Matthew (Kolkata). Rev. Anil Alexander (Navi Mumbai). The pastors listed above not only gave Duke the necessary permission to interview IT/ITES professionals of their church for this project but also warmly invited me to preach from their church pulpits during the research phase of this project. Some of them went out of their way to even arrange for Duke’s accommodation when he came to visit their church for my personal work. These pastors are a living example that there are servants of God who place the Kingdom of God before all else!

Duke’s kids were of special help to Duke for this project. Dale and Datasha. Dale would ask, “Daddy, did you complete chapter 2 yet?” And you can bet that encouraged him to go all the way to complete this project. Duke’s daughter Datasha would say, “Daddy, why are you on Facebook, when you need to finish your D. Min. project?” She was like Duke’s Prophet Haggai who encouraged God’s people to finish the rebuilding project!

Sister Bindu in the D. Min. department was another person who was very helpful for Duke in this project. Her responses to Duke’s emails/SMSs were as quick as Usain Bolt sprinting abilities!

Dr. Jacob Cherian and Dr. Pravin Kumar Israel  fast-tracked Duke to join this D. Min. course (I was the youngest in my cohort of 14) with not even a decade completed post his M. Div. degree graduation in SABC.

Duke was taught by some of the finest faculty and ministry leaders available in this course. Rev. Dr. Steve Lim. Rev. Dr. J. P. Taylor. Dr. Jean Daniel Pluess. Dr. Lois Olena. Rev. Dr. David Wills. Rev. Dr. Raylynn Wills. Rev. Dr. Jacob Cherian. Rev. Dr. Ivan Satyavrata. Rev. Dr. David Clarence. Dr. Prabhu Guptara. Rev. Dr. John Higgins. Dr. Ajit Prasadam. These teachers taught Duke priceless lessons that in-effect gave eight different lenses (we had eight modules) to view Modern Young Working Professionals. Dr. Olena, apart from coaching Duke’s D. Min. cohort in Project Writing, was kind to assist Duke in several ways. She emailed Duke the resources to make this project better.

His class mates in the D. Min. cohort  kept telling me, “Duke, you can finish this D. Min. by 2014,” and those reassuring words from these eminent men and women (including the General Superintendent of the South India Assemblies of God, Rev. .V. T. Abraham) meant a lot.

Dr. Grace Royappa. This post-doctoral research scientist’s counsels were of immense value to Duke as He progressed in this project. Her input in this project cannot be gain-said.

Eugene Pandian and Lima Eugene. Dr. Abraham Stanley and Mrs. Sharmila Stanley. Danny and Sylvia. They were “Aquila’s” and “Priscilla’s” who warmly opened their homes to me when Duke had to be in Bangalore/Chennai, researching and meeting his guide.

Arpan Paul, Nithiaraj Komalaraj, Benaya Vikram, Sandeep Pasupuleti and Solomon Hegeler. These four busy Modern Young Working Professionals used the Microsoft Excel program superbly, using all of their creative energies, to bring out several pie-charts, graphs, illustrations to demonstrate pictorially the findings of this project.

Bro. Christopher Tharalla, Lima Eugene, Benajamin Taylor, Abhinav David. These folks took time out from their busy lives to root out mistakes from the doctoral project manuscript.

Florussel Satya , Pratyusha Nakka and Miss. Edith Mary. These precious people were willing to stay with Evan, Duke’s wife during the times of Duke project-related long travels.

Ms.Namrata Shrestha and Mrs.Sneha Robert. They were God-sent to deftly shape Duke’s project into the Turabian format!

K. Jagadeesh (Chennai), Uncle Daniel (Mumbai), Mayur Doriel (Kolkata), Sheju Jacob (Bangalore), Stephen Jothiraj (Bangalore). These friends drove Duke around and hung out with me while he visited their respective cities they lived in to do research for the doctoral project work.

Kondai, the entry inspector, British Council Library, Chennai. He supplied Duke plain white sheets to write notes on while I researched in that library for my project.

Duke was gifted with a MacBook Air and a Dell All-in-One PC by two friends whom we will leave unnamed. Both these machines made Duke Project Work a lot easier.

It was the Lord Jesus who called unworthy Duke to minister to the Google Generation. God moved the famously indecisive Duke to choose this project topic by his warm tugs. God sent people to help the helpless Duke to sew up this project. This project was about “the Lord.” To You be the glory, honor and praise! Yes, Duke can be called  Dr. Duke now but he would  like to be known as a donkey who carried Jesus to the Google Generation in the one life he had!