Tim Will | December 2, 2019
For 27 years, students have applied to ACE’s Teaching Fellows program from the comfort of their dorm rooms or the solitude of a campus library. Few have felt the call to become an ACE teacher while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, but that is exactly where Ryan Hinton found himself in July of 2003.
Ryan Hinton: Called to Serve - July 2003 MissionAfter graduating from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2000 with a degree in theology and pastoral formation, Ryan had designs on ministering to high school students.
“My plan was always to become a high school religion teacher,” said Ryan, “but first I felt like I needed some more life experience.”
So he followed the example of his father and grandfather and joined the U.S. Army, serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Mosul, Iraq. Following a particularly unnerving combat mission, the Army chaplain noticed a dejected Ryan sitting on his cot and inquired, “What were you planning to do before you joined the military?” After hearing of Ryan’s plans to teach, the chaplain encouraged him to explore that calling further.
A lifelong product of Catholic schools, Ryan had heard about ACE Teaching Fellows during his junior year at Saint Mary’s. He decided to use his 15 minutes of daily internet access to reach out to ACE faculty members and start his application. While still on active duty, he was granted an interview with the ACE team and made his way to campus.
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