Ryan Althaus is an East Coast transplant from Annapolis Maryland, now residing in Santa Cruz, CA. Ryan graduated from Carson Newman College (a small Southern Baptist College in TN,) with dual BAs in English Education and Theology before receiving a Masters in Divinity in 2010 from Louisville Presbyterian where he was acknowledged with the institution's Presidential Preaching and Homiletics award. In his final year of seminary, Ryan launched "Sweaty Sheep Ministries" in addition to two nonprofit outreach athletic training programs for the disadvantaged before eventually going on to receive a second Masters in nonprofit business from Spalding University
Ryan moved to California to serve as the Development Director for the Homeless Garden Project (www.homelessgardenproject.org,) a unique transitional employment program that utilizes an 4 acre organic garden as a means of employing and empowering local homeless who further harvest foods to serve the nutritional needs of the larger low income community. He has since dropped to volunteer and contractual status with the Garden Project, now a national hunger mission site, and has taken on the role of San Jose Hunger Advocate while simultaneously launching a second chapter of Sweaty Sheep Ministries. Sweaty Sheep (www.sweatysheep.com) is one of the PCUSA's 1001 'New Worshiping Communities," initially founded in Louisville, KY, and focused on the integration of recreation as a means of breaking down economic, faith, or social barriers in the creation and evolution of a holistic community. Sweaty Sheep embraces and cultivates existential faith experiences to promote deliberate discipleship, add value to religious ritual, enhance community relationships, and encourage growth beyond embedded, prescriptive, or passive faith practices.
This work has lead him to join in the creation of a team campus ministry effort at the University of Santa Cruz where he is an active member of the UCSC interfaith Council and become a board member of the Santa Cruz Association of Faith Community rotating shelter program.
Ryan lives a modest life along with his K9 companion, Chewbacca, in accordance with the "New Monastic movement," a spiritual practice emphasizing one's detachment from unnecessary stresses of society so to become more deeply intertwined in the workings of one's organic community. Thus he happily resides in a 80 sq foot TV-free tiny home and spends most his time volunteering for local agencies while pursuing his particular passion for the creation of cross economic relationships that dignify and empower the homeless community.