Kelly Ryan joined Duke Divinity School in February 2008. She became the director of the Thriving Congregations Coordination Program in February 2020 to facilitate a learning community of grantees committed to helping congregations thrive through understanding their changing contexts, exploring their values and mission, and engaging in Christian practices. Prior to that, she spent 12 years as senior director of communications for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, overseeing its online learning resource Faith & Leadership. From 2003 to 2008, she served as a senior public relations specialist for Duke University's Office of the President and Office of News & Communications.
Between 1995 and 2003, Ryan was a reporter for the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times in Florida, where she covered public schools, city government, criminal justice and other topics. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Christian practice from Duke Divinity School. She is a lay leader at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C., where she is serving her second three-year term as an elected vestry member. Ryan has completed Level I (3-6), Level II (6-9) and Level III (9-12) formation courses to become a catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and co-leads a Sunday school classroom for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.