Darren Duerksen, Ph.D.

Director & Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies
Seminary House, Room 207

What programs do you teach in?

  • Intercultural Studies
  • Biblical and Religious Studies
  • Sociology


Ph.D., Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2011
M.Div., Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary
B.Mu., University of California, Santa Barbara

Share why you teach at FPU

In my own experience I have been profoundly shaped by teachers and mentors, and am glad that now I have the chance to provide this for students at FPU. Two of FPU’s qualities are particularly exciting for me. First, it has a commitment to following the teachings and ways of Christ, whether locally or globally. Second, FPU has great ethnic and religious diversity, providing me and our community with ongoing opportunities to learn about how to love and serve those different from ourselves

Scholarly Interests

My research interests include the theologies and practice of cross-cultural service (or missiology), church interaction with culture, Anabaptist studies (history and theology), and India. I am particularly interested in the ways that church communities equip and shape themselves for local and global service and witness.

Professional and Service Experience

Soon after graduating from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1991 I staffed and led discipleship training schools in England for 6 years with Youth With a Mission. During that time I led groups of students to various countries to work alongside local and expatriate Christian churches and workers. In 1998 my wife, Shahna, and I returned to the U.S. to work on my masters at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, during which I served local churches in various capacities.

When Shahna and I went to Shamshabad, India, in 2001/2002 to teach as study with the Mennonite Brethren church there, we felt a particular desire to stay involved in India long-term. In 2002 we started working with our denomination’s (Mennonite Brethren) global mission/service agency as liaisons between the Indian and North American churches, and from 2005 to 2008, lived in North India working with a North American team and Indian workers in the region. During that time I came into contact with a group of grass-roots leaders and churches that were pursuing new ways of relating to other religious communities, and focused my dissertation work on these leaders/churches. I learned many lessons from these leaders and continue to stay actively involved in the work they and others have developed in India.

Honors and Awards

  • Trowbridge Leadership Scholarship, 2010
  • First Fruits Grant for research in India, 2009
  • US Center for World Mission Grant for research in India, 2009  
  • Dunavant Reeves Scholarship, 2007

Professional Affiliations

  • Evangelical Missiological Society, Member
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Member
  • Association for the Sociology of Religion, Member
  • American Academy of Religion, Member

Publications and Presentations

Books and Book Contributions

  • Ecclesial Identities in a Multi-Faith Context: Jesus Truth-Gatherings (Yeshu Satsangs) among Hindus and Sikhs in Northwest India. American Society of Missiology Monograph Series. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, forthcoming.
  • “Church Pews and Drunk Shepherds: The Precedence, Functions and Principles of Contextualization,” in Victor Wiens and Elmer Martens, eds., The Church in Mission: Perspectives Of Global Mennonite Brethren On Mission In The 21st Century (manuscript under review).
  • “Dependency,” in William A. Dyrness, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Juan F. Martinez and Simon Chan, eds., Global Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Academic, October 2008): 230-231.

 Journal Articles

  • “Ecclesial Identities of Socioreligious ‘Insiders’: A Case Study of Fellowships among Hindu and Sikh Communities.” International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 37:2 (2013): 86-89.
  • “Must Insiders Be Churchless? Exploring Insiders’ Models of “Church.” International Journal of Frontier Missiology, 29:4 (2012): 161-167.
  • “A Missional Ecclesiology for India: A Mennonite Case Study from Andhra Pradesh,” Dharma Deepika, 8 (2004): 21-40.

Other Information

I enjoy playing music, including the guitar, and dabble with other string instruments such as the sitar. I also love traveling, hiking and camping.

My wife, Shahna, and I have one son, Ethan, and one daughter, Asha.