Dr Ryan Messmore

BA (Duke) MTS (DukeDS) MPhil (Camb) DPhil (Oxon)

Executive Director

Phone: 07 3347 7900
Email: rmessmore@chc.edu.au

Dr Ryan Messmore is the founding Executive Director of the Millis Institute.

Before moving to Brisbane, Dr Messmore served as President of Campion College, a liberal arts college in Sydney. He has also served as a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, the largest research and education institution (a.k.a. “think tank”) in Washington, DC. His research and writing examined how religious commitments are brought to bear on political life to improve public discourse and strengthen civil society.

At Heritage, Messmore served as lead writer of a DVD-based curriculum called “Seek Social Justice: Transforming Lives in Need.” His commentary and analysis have appeared in major newspapers such as The Washington Times and The Australian, online venues such as Crosswalk.com and FOXNews.com, and in national magazines such as First Things, Touchstone, and Comment.

Messmore was also founding Director of Trinity Forum Academy in Royal Oak, MD. The program, which he designed and oversaw from 2001-2006, offers recent college graduates a nine-month residential program of advanced course work in theology and cultural engagement.

Messmore received his bachelor’s degree in public policy and religion from Duke University. He holds master’s degrees in theology and Christian ethics from Duke Divinity School and Cambridge University. He received his doctorate in political theology from Oxford University.

In 2012 Messmore delivered the Acton Lecture in Sydney on Religious Freedom.

He currently resides with his wife and three children in Brisbane.

Research Interests

  • The Trinity
  • Christian theology
  • Political philosophy
  • The nature and purpose of education
  • Marriage and family
  • Religious liberty
  • Love, Courtship, and Sexual Ethics

Professional Affiliations

  • Compass Australia, Gold Coast, Board Member
  • John Jay Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Affiliated Scholar

Personal Interests

  • Playing with my kids
  • Ballroom dancing with my wife
  • Cheering for Duke Basketball
  • Soccer, tennis, hiking, reading


Articles and Media Products

“Rediscovering the Classical and Christian Educational Ideal,” News Weekly, November 9, 2013

“An Engaging Proposal: Lessons on Courtship & Covenantal Marriage from Ancient Israel,” Touchstone, January/February 2013

“Social Justice From a Biblical Perspective,” online accredited course, filmed for CollegePlus in 2012

“Faith-Based Initiatives Deserve A Place in the Public Sphere,” The Australian, October 22, 2012

“The Missional Church in the Public Square” Comment, June 23, 2011

“Thinking Locally,” Q&A with WORLD Magazine, June 18, 2011

“Real Social Justice,” On the Square, First Things, Nov. 26, 2010

“Seek Social Justice: Transforming Lives in Need,” DVD-based study published by LifeWay Christian Resources in 2010


“The End of the Humanities,” Humanities Research Symposium for Youth, Citipointe Christian College, 2015

“Reimagining Leadership: Influence for the Common Good,” National Student Leadership Summit, Australian Catholic University, 2015

“Religious Liberty: Why Educational Institutions Should Be Concerned,” Religion in the Public Square Colloquium, Presbyterian Church of Victoria, 2015

“Religious Liberty in Australia: What can we learn from the U.S. marriage debate?,” Qld Annual Review, FamilyVoice Australia, 2015

“Religious Freedom and the Privatization of Religion,” Religious Freedom Conference, University of Sydney, 2013

“Marriage,” World Congress of Families, Sydney, 2013

“What Kind of Religion is Free in the Public Square?”, Acton Lecture, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, 2012