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Service Learning

A Tradition of Service

Service learning allows our students to be an experience of the living Gospel while giving back to the greater Nashville area and beyond. At Father Ryan, we have a specific curriculum that empowers student to serve those most in need through the Works of Mercy. While built into the curriculum, our students go above the service learning requirements, setting an example for their peers and community. 

House Service Days

House Service Days – Each semester, members of one House travel off campus to local organizations to volunteer their time and make an impact in our community.

Relay For Life

Relay For Life – For over a decade, Father Ryan has hosted the largest student-led Relay For Life in the nation. Collectively, these events have raised over $1.87 million for cancer research.

Mission Trips

Mission Trips – Father Ryan Mission Trips serve as a long-standing tradition that deepens our students' faith. From Catholic Heart Work Camp to Alternative Spring Break and International Mission Trips, these opportunities are designed to transform students through relationships with those on the margins.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics – Each spring, Father Ryan partners with Special Olympics of Middle Tennessee to host this regional event where nearly 400 athletes compete. Despite school being closed for the day, hundreds of Father Ryan students volunteer to help host the event and cheer on the Olympians.

Food Drive

House System Canned Food Drive – Father Ryan students come together with their Houses each year to collect food and money to support local food banks in the area. In recent years, we've collected over 10,000 cans and $5,000 for our local community. 

Service by the Numbers

At Father Ryan, we believe one of the most distinctive and influential ways to connect with God is to serve others. Our students have the opportunity to improve the lives of their Nashville neighbors and effect positive change in their community.


Raised for Relay For Life


Service Hours Performed by Class of 2024


Cans Collected at Student-Led Food Drive


Student-Led Relay For Life in the Nation


JJ Khym '24

"I believe that it is a person’s purpose to give themselves fully to others. This belief was developed through the countless service opportunities offered here at Father Ryan."


Jessie Henry '25

“Father Ryan has made a difference in my life by providing opportunities to serve others, strengthen my faith, learn, and build relationships with not only my classmates but the community as a whole.”

Students holding check of total fundraising for relay for life

Grace Holland '23

"I wanted to serve as a Relay for Life Co-Chair because I fell in love with the organization, the mission, and the people it connected me with when I joined the committee my sophomore year. I felt at home on the Father Ryan Relay For Life Committee."

Father Charles Strobel '61 Service Society

The Father Charles Strobel '61 Service Society at Father Ryan High School, previously known as the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society, awards students who have served at least 120 hours in their community through the Corporal Works of Mercy.

At least 40 of those hours have to be with one organization to show a commitment and understanding of that organization over time. Students serve, apply by writing about their service, its meaning, and its challenges, and receive recommendation from that organization to be accepted into the society.

The naming of this service society honors the school alumnus, champion of the poor and founder of Room In The Inn - a national model of shelter, care, and support for those without homes to call their own - after his passing at age 80.