Geoff Ryan is a Major in The Salvation Army, continuing a family tradition that goes back four generations. Following a year-long assignment in the First Nations village of Gitwinksihlkw in Northern British Columbia, Geoff and his wife Sandra were appointed as members of a six-person team sent to reopen the work of The Salvation Army in the Soviet Union following a 70 year absence. Three years of service as a church leader in St. Petersburg was followed by six years in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don. Geoff’s final two years in Europe was spent as The Salvation Army’s Regional Officer for Southern Russia, a position that included oversight of operations in nine cities and relief efforts in the war-torn Republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya.
Returning to Canada in the summer of 2000, Geoff accepted responsibility for The Salvation Army operations in Regent Park, an inner-city neighbourhood in Toronto’s downtown eastside. Regent Park is home to the oldest and largest housing project in Canada. Since the opening of 614 Regent Park in the spring of 2001, this faith community has become a model for other inner city missions around the world. The 614 network presently includes over 20 active faith communities in under-resourced urban neighbourhoods in six countries.
Geoff has spoken at numerous international events for the Salvation Army and other events and conferences across Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Africa and Europe.
Geoff’s training and background is in graphic design and journalism. He has written extensively for various publications, published five books of essays and edited a book of academic papers. He is the coordinator of the 614 network (www.614network.com), co-founder and publisher of theRubicon, an online journal of thought and opinion (www.therubicon.org) and the convener and event leader of the bi-annual Urban Forum (www.theurbanforum.com).
Geoff is President of the Kiwanis Club of Toronto and works part-time at The Salvation Army’s national office in Toronto as a field-based consultant for urban ministries.
In addition to playing in a men’s indoor soccer league, Geoff drinks way too much coffee, is fascinated with politics, has two tattoos, is a magazineaholic and enjoys hanging out with his three children.