Catalyst Ministries: God’s Story

Julie Ryan has had a passion for ministry to women and children for over three decades. In the 1980s, she began “Young Mom’s Support Groups” to bring young mothers together in mutual support and encouragement, helping each other in the important task of raising their small children

Later she became the women’s Ministry Director at her local church, where she helped women connect through small groups and weekly Bible studies, and revitalized women’s retreats. While serving in women’s ministries, Julie became painfully aware of the burden on single moms. So with the Lord’s leading, she designed an event where single mothers and their children could be ministered to in a myriad of ways by volunteers from the church and the community. This ‘Single Mom’s Morning Out,’ in partnership with local media outlets, has grown significantly as several other churches throughout the region host Single Moms’ Morning Out in their own communities.

As the years went on, Julie found that her passion for ministry extended beyond the local area, and so she joined an international ministry which supports indigenous foreign workers as they free women from oppression in some of the most difficult areas around the world. Giving women the knowledge that they are highly valued in God’s eyes lifts them from the lie that they are simply property. Learning that God loves and values them gives them dignity, giving them hope and determination to pursue a better future for themselves and their families.

Bringing her years of experiences and passions together, Julie recognized that a need existed to combine local and global ministries, and after much prayer and seeking God’s direction, in December of 2014 Catalyst Ministries was born. It has been Julie’s desire, and the ultimate goal of Catalyst, to glorify God and to lean on Him as The Catalyst and change agent in the lives of women at risk — both locally and globally.

Today, Catalyst has a mission to reach out to women and children in the most difficult of circumstances, and to lift them up with a new hope. Women are the group most victimized by the scourge of human trafficking, and Catalyst is working at home and abroad to rescue and restore these women. Single mothers are the most likely to be in poverty, and Catalyst partners with local churches to minster to these women and their children.

God’s mighty hand continues to be evident in guiding Julie and Catalyst forward in their ministry to bless those most in need. His faithful guidance and providence are evident as the ministry advances in the cause of transforming the lives of at-risk women and children.

“You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless; when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.” Proverbs 14:31

what we do

Catalyst Ministries works in local communities and internationally with women and children at risk. We opened our doors in 2014 and through the guidance of the Lord, have been growing ever since. Catalyst Ministries has heard the commission of Jesus to make disciples of all nations, thus the ministry reaches out both locally and globally.


catalyst farms

Catalyst Ministries has recently focused on another vision of opening a safe location for women to live, heal, and rebuild their lives. Catalyst Farms is the manifestation of this dream, a residential property that serves as a specialized supportive services home for survivors of sex trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.


cafe nights

Think of Catalyst Café Nights as a coffee shop open every second Tuesday of the month where you can meet friends or just stop in for coffee. Our prayer for these evenings is that the Body of Christ will come together locally to a place where Christ’s love can be on display and be a beacon of light and hope; a place where getting coffee also helps fight against the injustice of at-risk individuals in human trafficking situations. 


single moms

Catalyst Ministries has made it their goal to reach out to women in our local area. We desire to catalyze change in the lives of women and children who have been broken or exploited. Catalyst organizes Single Moms’ Morning Out across the Illinois and Iowa regions with 11 host churches that reach out and minister to single women and their children. We also offer mentor groups for single moms as a time for women to relax and enjoy fellowship in a safe community among other women.

global prayer nights

Every 4th Tuesday at 7P in the Catalyst office.

Catalyst Ministries partners with God's work on a global level first and foremost through prayer. It is said, "History belongs to the intercessors." At Catalyst, we believe there is power in prayer and that as two or more are gathered in His name, there He is with them. Join us for a night to seek the face of the One who holds the world in His hands, to encounter His presence, and cry out for justice to be had on the earth.

where we work

The desire of the ministry is to catalyze people through awareness to hear the rally cry of the heart of God to not stay silent but to speak for those who have no voice.


Catalyst Ministries desires to come alongside what God is already doing globally and spur on our brothers and sisters who are being change agents in places of great darkness. Our Global Partners are local leaders and believers who work with women and children who are discarded by society. They share with them the hope of the gospel and provide Christ-centered restoration and healing to those who have been wounded and abused emotionally, physically, and sexually.