Programme Directors

  • Dr. Bernard D’Sami
  • Dr. Sandra Joseph Chinnasamy
  • Dr. Ashok Kumar Mocherla
  • Fr. Dr. Victor Ferrao
  • Fr. Dr. Jose Maliekal
  • Fr. Dr. Nithya Sagayam
  • Fr. Dr. Antony Lawrence
  • Fr. Dr. Merlin R Amburose

Dr. Bernard D’ Sami served as an Associate Professor in History and former

Head of the Department of History at Loyola College, Chennai. Currently he is a Senior Fellow at LISSTAR (Loyola Institute of Social Science Training and Research) Loyola College, Chennai. He is a media commentator on political and international news and regularly writes for academic Journals and magazines. He was a Guest faculty at IIT Madras between 2011 to 2021.  Twelve scholars have taken Ph..D under his guidance and currently he guides another four scholars. 

He is a Salzburg Fellow (1994). He went to Oxford University for a course on ‘Forced Migration’ in the Refugee Studies Centre. He went to Stockholm, Sweden on the Olaf Palme North-South Fellowship programme to the Stockholm Institute of education in summer 2002. He was an Executive Committee member of the Association of the British Scholars in India till September 2016. He went to San Remo in Italy in September 2016 selected by the UNHCR for a pilot course on Statelessness in the International Institute for Humanitarian Law (IIHL) and he has been invited for a Global Academic Network and a member of it in the newly initiated GCR (Global Compact on Refugees) .

Dr. Bernard D’ Sami

Prof. Sandra Joseph Chinnasamy is the Principal of Jesus and Mary College. She was former Vice-Principal and Head, Department of Social Work at Stella Maris College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 

As an educator, she has been involved in curriculum development of social work, supervision, evaluation and adjudication of several research studies at the M.A., M. Phil and Ph. D levels.

In collaboration with the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) since 1998, she was the lead researcher in cross-cultural action-research studies partnering with Latin American and Asian Universities, which had its focus on drug dependency, drug policy, interventions for drug users, women, children and youth, human rights and related issues.

As Honorary Director of the Extension Project of Stella Maris College, Chennai, ‘Sangamam’, she worked for the wellbeing and improvement of the conditions of coastal communities in Chennai. She was responsible for formulating training manuals and programmes to build capacities and skills of women, youth and children.

Prof. Sandra has presented papers, delivered lectures, organised workshops and has several publications to her credit. She also serves on several Boards of Studies and shares her expertise as an advisor to NGOs, both National and International. 

Dr Ashok Kumar Mocherla is a faculty of Sociology at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Indore. He obtained his doctorate in Sociology of religion from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. His academic interest include, not confined to, sociology of religion, caste, structures of social inequalities, minority rights, public health, missionary medicine, and higher education. He is the author of ‘Dalit Christians in South India: Caste, Ideology and Lived Religion’ (Routledge: 2020); Co-editor of ‘Democratization of Indian Christianity: Perspectives on Hegemony, Accessibility and Resistance’ (Routledge: forthcoming). His research has been funded by ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research); INSA (Indian National Science Academy); AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), UK. He has held visiting positions at Harvard University, USA (2022-23), Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia USA (2013), University of Bielefeld, Germany (2010).

Fr. Dr. Victor Ferrao holds a Doctorate in Philosophy of Science with a specialization in Science-Religion Dialogue from the Philosophy Department of Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune. He is an ex-professor of Rachol Seminary and served with distinction for twenty years. He has been the Dean of the Department of Philosophy there and also has served as the coordinator of the Special Study Centre of IGNOU at Rachol Seminary. He is the visiting professor at Rachol Seminary Goa, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, and St. Pius X College, Goregaon Mumbai. He has authored seven books and has edited a book of the proceedings of the annual conference of the Association of Christian Philosophers of India (ACPI). He has to his credit several research papers published in peer-reviewed journals as well as in edited books. He is the Founder Director of Science Religion Sangam, Goa and is actively involved in Science and Religion Dialogue. He has also organized National and International conferences and presented research papers at several National and International conferences in India and abroad. He is a regular columnist in Newspapers and Magazines in Goa. He continues in his passion for knowledge as an independent researcher.

Fr. Dr. Jose D. Maliekal SDB, belonging to the Salesian Province of Hyderabad, holds a doctorate in Subaltern Fundamental Theology, from the Department of Christian Studies, School of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Madras. He has authored a book named ‘Standstill Utopias? Dalits Encountering Christianity’, which won the James Massey Subaltern Studies Award from ISPCK, Delhi. He is a member of the Executive Council of Association of Christian Philosophers of India (ACPI). He is also a member of the Human Rights Forum of Andhra Pradesh.  At present, he is the academic co-ordinator of Don Bosco Vishwa Jyothi College ((Institute of Philosophy, Religious Studies and Social Sciences), Karunapuram, Peddapendiyala, Warangal Urban District, Telangana, where he teaches systematic philosophy and social praxis. He brings to his long career as a teacher of philosophy, a transdisciplinary approach, grounded in grassroots experience. His areas of research include Subaltern perspectives on the production of knowledge, Dalit identities and empowerment, and the impact of religion on socio-economic transformation. He was in the Provincial Animation Team of the Province for nine years. He can be contacted at

Fr. Dr. Nithiya Sagayam Anthony OFM.CAPis a Franciscan Capuchin friar of Amala Annai Province, Tamil Nadu, India. He is presently the Coordinator of Bl. Solanus Casey Centre, at the Thalir Centre, Villupuram in Tamil Nadu. He taught philosophy and continued for six years as Dean of the Faculty at the Capuchin Major Seminary in Kotagiri and was Visiting professor in several major seminaries. 

He served in the Capuchin General curia, Rome for five years in the Justice and Peace Commission. He worked for the Indian Bishops Conference (CBCI) for 9 years in Justice, Peace and Development and then in the Office of Human Development of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) for four years. 

Fr. Nithiya was on the Board of Directors for Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance under World Council of Churches -WCC, Geneva and was NGO lobbyist in the United Nations to work for the Arms Trade Treaty. He has been invited by the Vatican for several meetings through the dicastery such as the Pontifical council for Justice and Peace, Pont. Council for Migrants, Pont. Council for New Evangelization.  

He was appointed by the Vatican as the Missionary of Mercy and continues this mission. He is the National Coordinator of Association of Franciscans in India and Serves as the Regional Coordinator of South Asian Franciscans. He has his Masters (M. A) in Gandhian Studies and M.Phil research in Peace Science and Another Masters (M. A) in Human Rights and Doctorate (Ph.D) in Interreligious Dialogue.

Presently as a member of a rural Capuchin community, he is working for the Gypsies, Primitive Tribes, cobblers and the rural poor. During the COVID lockdown, he began Online Motivational Trainings reaching out to Religious and laity in 43 countries by focusing on Psycho-spiritual growth, social uplift of the marginalized etc. His mobile is +91.9445548000 and email

Fr. Dr. Antony Lawrence is a priest of the diocese of Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. He holds a Degree of Master of Theology from St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute. He completed his research studies in Missiology in Urbaniana University, Rome, and obtained the degree of Doctor of Theology. He teaches Missiology and Systematic Theology in St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary and Institute, Bangalore. He has authored two books: Mission in the Third Millennium, Emerging Trends in India and Co-Pilgrims for a Better World (2021). He writes articles to different journals. He has edited two volumes and co-edited three books. His area of interest covers Theology, Mission, Communalism, Interfaith Dialogue, Inculturation and Theology of the Poor. Presently, he heads the Department of Missiology at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore.

Fr. Dr. Merlin Rengith Ambrose born on 16 August 1981; ordained to the presbyterate on 19 April 2009 for the diocese of Kottar, India. University Studies: B.A Sociology, Madurai Kamaraj University; M.A Christian Studies, University of Madras, Chennai; Licentiate in Canon Law, St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore; Doctorate in Canon Law and Diploma in Canonical Jurisprudence and Praxis, Pontifical Urban University, Rome; Diploma in Studium of Canonization Process (Postulator Course) in Congregation for the Causes of Saints with the canonical faculty to act as postulator for the Roman phase in the same Congregation; Diploma in Latin, Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis, Rome; Diploma in Administrative Canonical Praxis, Congregation for the Clergy; Vatican; Diploma in Priestly  Formation, Congregation for the Clergy, Vatican; Teaching faculty at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore; Executive Secretary to the Commission for Canon Law and Legislative Texts in the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI); Contributes research articles to both Indian journals and journals abroad.

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