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Reverend Balsan comes to Wayne from First Presbyterian Church of Ambler in Ambler, PA, where he has served as Senior Pastor and Head of Staff for over 13 years. Wayne will be his fourth pastoral call in his 25 years in ministry. He has held various leadership positions in the Philadelphia Presbytery, and he has been a member of a Covenant Group of Pastors for 24 years, demonstrating his deep commitment to clergy support and development.

The PNC members agreed that our ideal candidate would demonstrate a genuine, personal love for Jesus Christ, challenge our congregants on their faith journeys, deliver compelling, scripturally-based sermons to engage a diverse congregation, exhibit innate pastoral gifts, demonstrate a collaborative approach to all aspects of church management, and have a compelling, engaging personality.

We are blessed and thrilled that God has provided a candidate that possesses all of these qualities, and more. Along with his teaching and preaching gifts, Ryan has a unique focus on spiritual and organizational leadership that is critical for leading today’s church. We were particularly impressed by his combination of spiritual gifts, leadership skills, and relational approach to ministry, which distinguished him as the top candidate to lead WPC into the future.

Introducing Rev. Balsan

The best way to introduce Ryan may be to let him introduce himself through his own words from his pastoral profile: “God is calling me to a congregation that seeks innovative, creative, and daring ways to serve one another and the community in Jesus’ name. One of the best ways to build this kind of community is through engaging, faithful, biblical preaching. Thoughtful preaching starts conversations, guided by scripture, that lead to congregational transformation. I have learned to ask, ‘What have we learned?’ rather than, ‘Did that work?’ This shift generates creative, experimental, and more collaborative ministry.”

His thoughts on ministry: “I value what I call a ministry of ‘connections.’ This includes pastoral care, but it is deeper and more foundational. It is one that invites everyone to participate in God’s work in the church. This grows from my deep belief in the priesthood of all believers, and that God gifts everyone to serve. To do this well means knowing people, what they care about, what they do, and how they desire to serve. Some of the most powerful moments in ministry happen when we connect people to each other and the church’s mission.”

Background, Interests and Family

Ryan was born and raised in the Midwest and has lived in Philadelphia and New Jersey for most of his adult life. He earned a degree in political science from Penn State and after graduation served as a youth director at the Great Valley Presbyterian Church in Malvern. He then earned his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Since he arrived at First Ambler, Ryan has been active in the Philadelphia Presbytery, serving on the Personnel Committee, including four years as Chair, as well as the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and the Committee on Nominations.

When he’s not at church, Ryan follows Philadelphia Sports teams, reads, aspires to be a regular at the gym, collects vinyl records, watches Netflix, cooks, and spends time with his family. He has been married to Jennifer (Jen) for 30 years and they have four grown children: Caleb, Clare, Isaac, and Marc. Jen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Behavioral Health Consultant at Esperanza Health Center in Kensington. She has a special interest in working with teenagers and practiced social work in school settings with at-risk adolescents for many years.

Ryan will conclude his current ministry over the next two months, and he will officially begin his work at WPC on September 9.

Pastor Search Process