After nearly 20 years in congregational pastoral ministry Ryan left his church in 2013 and shortly thereafter began an exploration of atheism and humanism and wrote about his experience at the Year Without God blog. His experience and writing became an international phenomenon and was covered by CNN, BBC, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of podcasts. Since leaving his faith behind, Ryan has been a writer and speaker on the subjects of religion, humanism and justice. In 2015, he launched a project called Life After God and the Life After God podcast.
Ryan is currently the National Organizing Manager at the Secular Student Alliance where he helps hundreds of student groups define their secular humanist values and put them into action. He is also the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics.