Millis Institute (Australia)
Just three years after being a Witherspoon Fellow, Ryan Messmore became the founding director of the Trinity Forum Academy, a 9-month-long residential fellowship program in Royal Oak, MD.
“John Dewey said that the way we learn is as important as what we learn,” he notes. “If the content of Christian education has to do with the triune God and His relationship with creation (and the implications that creates for our understanding of politics, science, commerce, family, art, culture, etc.), then the form in which that education is conveyed needs to fit accordingly. Small, personal, residential communities like the Trinity Forum Academy and the John Jay Institute provide a form in which to engage this content well. Didn’t our Lord take a similar approach with his disciples?”
Ryan, who has a M.T.S. in Christian Ethics from Duke Divinity School, an M. Phil. in Theology from the University of Cambridge, and a D.Phil. in Political Theology from the University of Oxford, served as the head of the Trinity Forum Academy for five years before becoming the Simon Fellow at the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. He was then tapped to serve as the President of Campion College, a Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Sydney, Australia.
At the DeVos Center, Ryan worked to bring theological and conceptual ideas to bear on concrete policy issues. He was the lead writer of a DVD-based curriculum called Seek Social Justice: Transforming Lives in Need. “Although many pursue ‘social justice causes’ out of good intentions, they end up supporting bad policies—policies that hurt the very people they intended to help. We designed the Seek Social Justice curriculum to provide an intellectual framework for engaging social justice and helping people think through the most effective ways to serve people in need.”
Ryan now serves as Executive Director of the Millis Institute in Brisbane, Australia, an Oxford University-affiliated center that seeks "to intentionally cultivate and celebrate 'the making of persons' in every dimension - mind and body, spirit and flesh, heart and soul." Ryan is also an Affiliated Scholar of the John Jay Institute. He and his wife, Karin, have three children.