John Arun Kumar served as a civil engineer with Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM) after graduating from university. After marriage, Arun continued to serve with IEM’s construction and community development projects, while his wife Sonia used her master’s degrees in psychology and education to help with missionary training. In 1995 Arun and Sonia pursued MA studies in pastoral theology and counseling at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS). Subsequently, IEM and SAIACS entered into a partnership.
While he was faculty-in-training at SAIACS, Arun earned a PhD from the University of Leeds in the field of Theology and Religious Studies. He focused on popular Hinduism based on field research in the SAIACS neighbourhood. Since 2008 Arun has been the head of the department of religion at SAIACS. Arun attended the Cape Town 2010 GlobalLink event at the SAIACS CEO Centre, the Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in Bangalore in 2013, and the Lausanne Global Consultation on Islam in Ghana in 2014. He serves as a Lausanne catalyst for Hinduism.