Ryan has enjoyed seventeen years of professional ministry experience serving in both Episcopal churches and schools—the past eleven years in ordained ministry. His extensive leadership experience is further complemented by a long tenure as an Executive Director of an innovative non-profit organization.
The defining aspect of Ryan’s call, as both a priest and educator, has been his service and leadership to Episcopal communities and organizations amid periods of growth and change. Throughout his career, he has been both an architect and a builder of groups, communities, programs, strategic visions, and even physical spaces.
Born in Los Angeles to Steve and Charlotte Newman, Ryan is the second-oldest of five children. Raised in Orange County, California, Ryan grew up in a non-churched but spiritually grounded family. His parents, Steve, a certified public accountant, and Charlotte, a bilingual teacher and later a homemaker, greatly valued the Episcopal school tradition of academic excellence and strong values. Ryan attended St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, California. While attending SMES, Ryan discovered his identity, his voice, his passion for teaching and learning, his call to the priesthood and service in Episcopal schools institution, and even the love of his life, Erin.
Ryan attended the University of Southern California majoring in Political Science and minoring in Southern American History. After attending USC, he returned to his alma mater St. Margaret’s to serve as a lay chaplain, youth minister, teacher, coach, and web designer.
In 1992, Ryan began serving as one the original fifteen counselors of Special Camp for Special Kids. In 1995, as the program struggled with the departure of its founding director, a failed tenure of an interim director, and financial instability, Ryan assumed the role of Executive Director. As Executive Director, he developed and implemented the program’s first-ever annual and capital fundraising campaigns, marketing plan, and strategic plan. Within Ryan’s first year, Special Camp raised over forty-percent of the program’s operating budget through private donations and corporate grants. As the program’s enrollment skyrocketed and the organization continued to cultivate its long-term financial stability, Special Camp became a nationally recognized and honored non-profit organization serving the disabled community through its remarkable mission. Special Camp continues to thrive as a revolutionary non-profit organization serving hundreds of youth throughout the year.
In 2002, Ryan graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia and was ordained by Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Ryan began serving as the Chaplain, and later added the role of Director of Operations, at Campbell Hall (Episcopal) in North Hollywood, California. During Ryan’s eleven year tenure at Campbell Hall, he was instrumental in leading the school into a renaissance. Under his vision and direction, the Chaplaincy grew into a dynamic and vibrant core aspect of the school’s mission and daily life. Being the chaplain of an ethnically, socio-economically, and religiously (50% of population non-Christians) diverse school community, demands a great deal of vision and leadership. In Ryan’s role as the Director of Operations, he was the senior administrator charged with the responsibility of providing the strategic direction and day-to-day leadership for the school’s capital building projects, physical plant, facilities scheduling, resource management and allocation, outsourced services, auxiliary enterprises, health and safety, risk management, and general operations in support of the school’s educational program. Ryan has been recognized and honored by others as a leader and innovator in Episcopal schools.
One of Ryan’s most ambitious projects during his tenure at Campbell Hall was the design and construction of the Arts and Education Center–a 110,000 square-foot, LEED Gold, facility dedicated to the performing and visual arts that also includes a 6000 square foot new faculty center, professional quality art gallery, two-story underground parking facility, and state-of-the-art technology. Amid unprecedented local, national, and global financial uncertainty, Ryan faced the awesome challenge of directing the design and development, pre-construction and construction phases of the new thirty million dollar facility, which has transformed Campbell Hall’s campus and educational program. He worked closely with city officials, architects, engineers, legal counsel, consultants, contractors, and faculty throughout the four year project. The project faced numerous bureaucratic, design, and economic challenges. Despite these obstacles, the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
Over the past two decades, Ryan has facilitated countless large and small groups in areas such as strategic planning, governance, spiritual formation, fiscal sustainability and growth, advancement and grants, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Ryan’s greatest strength and experience is leading organizations and communities through change and growth, especially institutions who have experienced recent transitions, poor leadership and management, or misconduct.
Colleagues and organizations have articulated their respect for Ryan’s tireless work ethic, strong leadership skills, honest and transparent communication style, deep moral integrity and values, spirited and outgoing personality, mature and humble confidence, compassionate and connected pastoral skills, engagement and visibility as a community member, and willingness to take risks.
Ryan’s leadership experience and passionate commitment to service has attracted non-profit organizations to seek his presence on their boards. Most recently, as a board member at Hillsides, a Pasadena based nonprofit that provides foster care, a treatment and counseling center, social services, and a K-12 school, Ryan has been instrumental in helping to lead the organization in a rebranding process, centennial celebration, accreditation process, and refinement of their bylaws.
Starting in June 2013, Ryan began serving as the Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Preschool in Kapaa, Hawaii on the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai. With the change of pace and scenery, Ryan hopes to focus more on writing, speaking, and consulting on matters related to the Episcopal Church, Independent/Episcopal Schools, and non-profit organizations. In his ministry at All Saints’, he looks to center his vision around the themes of leadership, financial sustainability, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, ethics, community outreach, and spirituality.
Most recently, Ryan has launched the “Now What” blog series. “Now What” seeks to bring the Gospel into our lives beyond Sunday through offering a brief reflection Sunday’s Gospel reading. Additionally, Ryan is featured in the weekly podcast, Preaching from Paradise, which is available on Apple’s iTunes.
Ryan’s wife, Dr. Erin Gregg Newman, is a board certified physician in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Starting August 2013, Erin will continue her medical career at the main hospital on Kauai and at a clinic in Kapaa.