Skip to main content
Back to News →

Student Shares Story of Scholarship Impact


Ryan Remington, a second-semester Master of Divinity student at CTS, delivered a powerful and deeply personal testimony during the Legends of Leadership breakfast on April 16th, 2024. This annual gathering provides an opportunity to connect CTS students with the many benefactors of the CTS Leadership Societies whose generosity supports student scholarships and degree programs. Remington’s journey from a tumultuous past to a hopeful future exemplifies the transformative impact of scholarship support on the lives and callings of CTS students.

In his gripping narrative, Ryan courageously shared his experiences of overcoming adversity and finding redemption through faith and education. Born into humble beginnings, Ryan’s path to seminary was far from conventional. With no bachelor’s degree and limited resources, pursuing theological education seemed like an unattainable dream. However, the generosity of scholarship donors at CTS made his aspirations a reality.

I refer to myself as being lowborn. See, I was conceived in a single-wide trailer and born in a double. I am lowborn. And I say that with both pride and humility. I know where I come from. We were so poor that my dad had to thrift his blue collared shirts. I was born and raised in a conservative, fundamentalist faith that I abandoned at 19 when I was kicked out of an equally conservative, fundamentalist college.

While I’d always been a secret, hidden fan of rock and roll, when I left my faith and was kicked out of college, I found sex and drugs to go with my penchant for distorted guitars and splashy cymbals. I spent the next 12 years chasing highs and skirts. I’ve been molested, stabbed, shot at, pistol whipped, jailed, charged with multiple felonies and woken up next to a corpse more than once. I was content to crawl into a bottle of pills and percolate in cheap liquor and, while drowning, I was content to create hell for those who were foolish enough to love me or try to rescue me.

When I was 30, I met the woman who would show me tangible grace and mercy. The woman who would love me no matter how hard I made it for her. She eventually loved me to sobriety. She eventually loved me into finding faith. A real faith. A tangible faith.

At 33, when we got married and I got clean, seminary was a pipe dream for a dummy who loved reading books by big thinkers. I didn’t, and still don’t, have a bachelor’s and I was, and still am, poor and I was, and still am, half an idiot. I liked reading my books, though. And I was content to attend the seminary of pirated books. Until I wasn’t.

On the day that I was born, my grandma prophesied that I was to be a pastor. Most of the decisions in my life were made to counteract that, to prove her wrong. Until they weren’t. Until I realized that she was right and there was a call on my life. I am alive and speaking to you today when I swore that I’d be dead by now. I’m grateful that God answers prayers with ‘no,’ sometimes.

Ryan’s testimony underscored the profound impact of scholarship support on his academic journey and personal transformation. He acknowledged the privilege afforded to him as a straight, white male while also recognizing the doors opened to him by the generosity of others.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your generosity,” Ryan concluded with gratitude. “Y’all took a chance on a non-baccalaureate student who had to use autocorrect to spell non-baccalaureate.”

Despite the challenges he has faced, Ryan’s vision for the future is filled with hope and purpose. He aspires to serve as a pastor in the southwest alongside his wife, guided by a newfound sense of calling and purpose nurtured at CTS.

“If any of you are questioning why you give to this school, I hope that I, along with the other students here, have given you a good reason to continue,” Ryan shared, inspiring those in attendance to support future generations of students.

Ryan’s testimony serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of education and the profound impact of scholarship support on the lives of students at Christian Theological Seminary.

For more information about scholarship opportunities and how to support students like Ryan, visit