As a Scholar on Psalms, Dhanaraj's work was published in 1992 and simultaneously reviewed in two German journals, namely the de:Verkündigung und Forschung (1995) and the de:Theologische Literaturzeitung (1995) followed by the The Catholic Biblical Quarterly (1996) and has also been listed in three of the annual editions of Elenchus of Biblica (Volumes 8, 10, 12 of 1992, 1994, 1996). Ellen T. Charry observes that Dhanaraj divided Psalm 3 into three segments depending on point of view taken by the speaker, a fact reiterated by John J. Ahn. Further, Dhanaraj's research work has been held in nearly 75 library holdings ranging from Seminaries to State Universities and National libraries across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America and has been referred by many Scholars over the years',
After initial graduate studies at the CSI-American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu where Dhanaraj pursued studies in sciences leading to B.Sc. in 1969, he discerned his avocation and became an aspirant with the Madurai-Ramnad Diocese of the Church of South India, then under the bishopric of The Right Reverend George Devadas, CSI who became his Spiritual Confessor and led Dhanaraj to take up seminary studies leading to Priesthood.
Dhanaraj then underwent ministerial formation at the United Theological College, Bangalore between 1970-1974 during the Principalship of J. R. Chandran, CSI, studying for a Bachelor of Divinity (B. D.) under faculty comprising The Rev. G. D. Melanchton, AELC, W. P. Peery, AELC, E. C. John, CSI and others.
During Dhanaraj's study period between 1970-1974, his companions included D. I. Hans, CSI, P. J. Lawrence, CSI, J. W. Gladstone, CSI, Sydney Salins, CSI, John Sadananda, CSI, P. Surya Prakash, CSI and others who were pursuing graduate courses while R. Yesurathnam, CSI, D. W. Jesudoss, TELC, G. Babu Rao, CBCNC, Basil ReberaLaity, D. S. Satyaranjan, IPC, N. K. Achumi, NBCC, Timotheas Hembrom, NELC, S. John Theodore, CSI and others were pursuing postgraduate courses at varying intervals including G. Solomon, STBC who came there for a specialized course in Biblical Hebrew.
In the ensuing convocation of the Senate of Serampore College (University) held on February 1, 1975 at the Serampore College, Serampore under the Registrarship of C. Devasahayam, CBCNC, Dhanaraj was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree where the Convocation Commemoration Mass in Serampore was conducted by the Old Testament Teacher G. Babu Rao, CBCNC of Serampore College. at the CNI-St. Olave's Church, Serampore.
Again from 1976-1978, Dhanaraj studied for a postgraduate course during the Principalship of J. R. Chandran, CSI specialising in Old Testament under E. C. John, CSI, G. M. Butterworth, CoE and Gerhard Wehmeier, EKD and submitted a dissertation entitled The relationship of man to God as expressed in the piety of selected Psalms and was awarded a Master of Theology (M. Th.) degree by the University under the Registrarship of D. S. Satyaranjan, IPC who had by that time become Registrar of the University succeeding J. T. Krogh, NELC. The 1979 convocation of the University was held at Secunderabad in February at the Andhra Christian Theological College led by the Old Testament Scholars, Victor Premasagar, CSI and G. Babu Rao, CBCNC who had by that time moved from Serampore to Secunderabad and again conducted the Convocation Commemoration Mass at the St. Gregorious Malankara Orthodox Syrian Cathedral in the neighbourhood of the College.
During Dhanaraj's second period of studies at Bangalore between 1976-1978, his graduate companions included S. W. Meshack, IELC, M. Mani Chacko, CSI, K. David Udayakumar, SALC and others.
After a period of German language studies at the Goethe Institute, Pune between 1978-1979, Dhanaraj moved to Germany enrolling as a student for the period 1979-1983 and began researching at the University of Hamburg under Prof. Klaus Koch and Prof. de:Eckart Otto entitling his dissertation as Theological significance of the motif of enemies in selected psalms of individual lament. Dhanaraj's other companions at the University of Hamburg included Godwin Shiri,CSI J. W. Gladstone, CSI Ofosu Adutwum, PCG and also G. Babu Rao, CBCNC who went there on a 2½ years research exposure to the University.
Dhanaraj later transferred himself to the University of Osnabrück as his guide, Prof. de:Eckart Otto had moved out from the University of Hamburg to join the University of Osnabrück and Dhanaraj continued his research there under Prof. de:Eckart Otto and was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in 1987/1988 by the University of Osnabrück and published in 1992 by J. J. Augustin based in Glückstadt, Germany.
After completion of seminary studies by 1974 at the Protestant Regional Theologiate in Bangalore, Dhanaraj expressed interest to begin pastoral work in Karnataka and sought transfer from the Madurai-Ramnad Diocese (headquartered in Madurai under the bishopric of The Right Reverend George Devadas, CSI) to the Karnataka Southern Diocese (headquartered in Mangalore under the bishopric of The Right Reverend S. R. Furtado, CSI) and began pastoring parishes falling under the ecclesiastical purview of the Karnataka Southern Diocese of the Church of South India beginning with the Christ Church, Pollibetta, and to the Maddock Memorial Church, Kushalanagar, both falling under the civil jurisdiction of Kodagu district in south west Karnataka.
Dhanaraj moved to Mangalore in 1978 after completing his postgraduate studies in Old Testament at the Protestant Regional Theologiate in Bangalore and began teaching at the Karnataka Theological College along with C. D. Jathanna, CSI and also John Sadananda, CSI. After a year of teaching, Dhanaraj proceeded on a 5-year study leave for research studies to Germany and returned in 1983 to resume his teaching of the Old Testament, Hebrew language and Aramaic language to ministerial candidates studying for Bachelor of Divinity course offered through the Senate of Serampore College (University). In 2003, Dhanaraj went on sabbatical leave to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and taught courses during spring semester.
With Dhanaraj's expertise in the German language, the Moegling Institute for German Language (permanently affiliated to the University of Mangalore), the only German language institute in Mangalore set up within the premises of the Karnataka Theological College took Dhanaraj as one of its faculty members after his return from Germany in 1983 and after nearly a decade of teaching, Dhanaraj became Principal of the institute in 1992. The Institute has been notable for admitting students with basic school certificate and metamorphose students into basic German language speakers within a year and also award them a proper UGC recognised certificate from the Mangalore University.
In 2004, when the University of Mangalore Syndicate was reconstituted during the term of Vice Chancellor B. Hanumaiah, the University included Dhanaraj as a representative of the Moegling Institute of German Language in the newly reconstituted 22-member highest body of the University.