Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana

United States

Location of Activities

USA / Nigeria / Bangladesh / Sri Lanka
North America / West Africa / South Asia
President, OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership

The Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana is President of the OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership, a global leadership training institute for religious leaders and people of faith based in Chicago, Illinois, USA.  

Premarawardhana is originally from Sri Lanka, where he attended seminary education, as well as in India. Arriving in the United States in 1981, he followed graduate study at the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinios, where he earned his MA and PhD in Religion.  Remaining in the Chicago area, he founded the Chicago Ashram of Jesus Christ, a Christian community with an outreach to South Asian immigrants.  As well, he served as senior pastor of Ellis Avenue Church located in the south side of Chicago for fourteen years.

Premawardhana returned to Chicago following his most recent position of director for the Program Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the World Council of Churches (WCC), a worldwide fellowship of Protestant and Orthodox churches based in Geneva, Switzerland.  Prior to moving to Geneva, Premawardhana served as the Associate General Secretary for Interfaith Relations at the National Council of Churches of Christ, based in New York.

Biography as at 10.11.17
Main Publications: 

1.) Premawardhana, Shanta. 2015. Religious conversion: religion scholars thinking together. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&d....

2.) Premawardhana, Shanta. 2009. ""I saw a peach tree in full bloom": transformative spirituality and mission in an interreligious context". International Review of Mission.

3.) Premawardhana, Shanta. 2017. "Interfaith relations and the global church". Review and Expositor. 114 (1): 52-62. Premawardhana, Shanta. 2006. "Preparing Religious Leaders for Our Time". Teaching Theology & Religion. 9 (2).

4.) Hentsch, Ariane, and Shanta Premawardhana. 2011. Sharing values: a hermeneutics for global ethics.

5.) Behera, Marina Ngursangzeli. 2011. Interfaith relations after one hundred years: Christian mission among other faiths. Eugene, Or: Wipf and Stock.

Areas of Actions: 
Peace and ReconciliationPreventing and Countering ExtremismInterreligious Dialogue
Forms of Actions: 
Educational ProgrammesCapacity Building and Empowerment