I have great news! God’s brought a talented guy to the Manhood Journey team, and I’d like to introduce you to him. Our message and tools are resonating with fathers in many places (yeah baby!), and so we need more godly men to help guide that growth. Ryan Sanders is one of those godly men who will do just that.
The Manhood Journey Board agreed that now is the time, given our traction in Louisville and growth across the country (and in 11 other countries), to take a bold step of faith. We’re trusting that you – our readers, financial supporters, and users of our Bible studies – will continue to partner with us while trusting God to provide and grow the ministry of Manhood Journey.
Let me tell you about Ryan Sanders.
Ryan will serve as MJ’s Director of Marketing. He will spur growth of our ministry by reaching more fathers and partnering with more pastors and churches. He will touch every aspect of our communications. More on that later…but first…
I met Ryan by phone in 2012. I had stalked him on Twitter (true story). We became fast friends, in particular because of his bold faith. On one of our calls, he and I talked about why we’d chosen various career moves. He shared one of his and I was contemplating my own. Ryan stepped out of a solid role with a big organization to follow the path he felt God was leading him toward, and said, “I’ve decided that comfort is evil.” That line struck me.
Ryan comes to MJ with years of experience in publishing, nonprofit ministry and marketing. He was born and raised in Tennessee (pray for me, I’m trying hard to not hold this against him). He now lives in Reston, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, with his wife of 13 years, Tonia. They have three children, two daughters (ages 10 and 7) and a son (1 year old).
Here’s a snapshot of Ryan Sanders’ experience:
- Student Pastor at First Baptist Church, Tracy City, Tennessee for four years while attending college
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Religion & Mental Health from Middle Tennessee State University
- Ordained to Gospel Ministry, First Baptist Church, Tracy City, Tennessee
- Writer and editor for LifeWay in Nashville, Tennessee for almost a decade
- Master of Divinity in Applied Apologetics from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky
- Studied under Chuck Colson as a Colson Fellow at The Colson Center for Christian Worldview in Washington, DC
- Preschool Chaplain at Columbia Baptist Church, Falls Church, Virginia.
- Writer and Researcher in executive communications at Prison Fellowship
- Director of Marketing and Communications at National Fatherhood Initiative
At Prison Fellowship (PF) Ryan saw stats like “2.7 million children have a parent in prison and 92% of those parents are fathers.” He soon realized the problem of fatherhood absence wasn’t only confined to prisons — it was everywhere.
Ryan spent the last five years as Director of Marketing and Communications at National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) where he wrote the father absence crisis in America. He saw first hand: as fathers go, so goes society.
I asked Ryan what excites him most about working with fathers and pastors at Manhood Journey. He said,
“I’m excited to serve alongside the Manhood Journey team. On my trips to Louisville meeting the team, I observed something. These guys get it. They know the heart of the fatherhood problem. The problem of fatherhood isn’t just economics, education, or politics — it’s spiritual. God can flip that light switch on for dads. We can help a dad see he’s the spiritual leader in the home and how he can be an engaged father. Once we do that, fathers and pastors — homes and churches — will help the next generation be shaped firsthand by the good example they’ve been given.”
Given his experience in ministry and nonprofit marketing and his passion for fathers and pastors understanding biblical manhood and biblical fatherhood, Ryan is primed to help MJ serve more fathers. With his help, we can build more biblical fathers and raise the next generation of godly leaders. I can clearly see God’s hand in the ministry of Manhood Journey. He directed the hiring of Ryan, and He continues providing the resources we need, right when we need them.
As we take steps to reach more fathers and sons, prayerfully consider how you might partner with us in the fight for biblical fatherhood.
Here are a few options for how you can help:
- Do you have a son or young man who needs biblical mentoring? Engage him through our 1-on-1 Guides, start with Embarking.
- Are you a pastor or do you know a pastor who needs help motivating fathers in the church? Visit and share Pastor Resources.
- Consider partnering with us financially? Make a monthly commitment via our secure Donation page.