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Stepping Up Together

Published October 18, 2017

Dr. Samson Divakar and Dr. Jesse Divakar

There are plenty of activities fathers and sons are known to do together. Graduating typically isn’t one of them.

Dr. Samson Sathish Divakar and Dr. Jesse Divakar, a father-son duo from India, walked the Clarks Summit University commencement stage in 2013 to receive their degrees. Samson Divakar earned a Doctor of Ministry degree. Jesse Divakar, the only son of Samson and Helen Divakar, earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science/Pre-Physical Therapy.

Fatherly Advice

Samson Divakar had already begun his doctoral studies at Clarks Summit University when it came time for his son’s college decision. The incoming freshman knew he wanted to be in a spiritually stimulating environment. When his father suggested CSU, his interest was piqued, since biblical education is the backbone of every undergraduate program at the university.

From India to Clarks Summit

Every parent whose child moves away to college knows the difficulty of distance. And for Samson and Helen Divakar, CSU was half a world away from their home in Bangalore, India. So when their son chose CSU, the unique connection gave them an opportunity to see him more frequently. Samson’s doctoral study modules brought him to campus for week-long modules a few times each year.

“It was always a treat to spend a few days together when my father visited for his doctoral studies or to speak in churches and conferences in the U.S,” Jesse Divakar recalls.

In addition to sharing meals and enjoying time with his son, the visits prompted Samson Divakar to consider the vitality of education. “It served as a reminder that the learning process never ends in life,” he explains.

A Career in Physical Therapy

After CSU, Jesse Divakar went on to earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Southwest Baptist University and is now a physical therapist in Macon, Georgia. He focuses on treating neuromuscular disorders like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and orthopedic issues. He says CSU helped him learn to interact with diverse personalities, and that compassion was modeled on campus. “I enjoyed how approachable the faculty are to students in and out of class,” Divakar says. “They demonstrate genuine care and concern for their students that extends beyond the curriculum.”

Serving in India

Samson Divakar is founding president of Beacon Baptist Theological College & Seminary, founding pastor of Beacon Baptist Church and founder and executive director of Beacon Baptist Ministries in India. BBM also operates an orphanage and elementary school, and Divakar uses courses in English as a second language to reach people for Christ.

He and his wife are church planters with the Association of Baptist for World Evangelism (ABWE)—Global Access Partnership (GAP), and he pursued the Doctor of Ministry to strengthen these various ministries. “It prepared me to review, reflect and retune our theological education, church ministry and missions in India,” Divakar says.

Although the Divakar doctors are no longer on campus together, they’re both using their respective degrees to do the same thing—care for people while serving God.

Emily Gehman (’12) is a freelance writer from Lapeer, Michigan

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