Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, III, while continuing his role as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss., has been elected as a regular member of the faculty and appointed as the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson beginning January 1st, 2012. Currently an adjunct member of the faculty, this election means Duncan will become a voting member of the faculty and will teach additional classes, cutting back on his national speaking engagements to do so.
Students at RTS/Jackson were excited after hearing this news and they are looking forward to sitting under Dr. Duncan’s teaching as part of the regular curriculum of the Master of Divinity program.
"Ligon Duncan's recent appointment as the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, is a tremendous blessing of God to RTS," said Chancellor-elect Michael Milton, "but even more, to the larger church. Dr. Ligon Duncan is a pastor – scholar. Ligon models what we trust and pray the Lord will produce here at RTS. More than all that this means for our seminary and our students, it means that the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the 21st-century will receive pastors and missionaries and other gospel workers who have been grounded in the inerrant and infallible word of God with a passion for lost souls. Ligon Duncan's commitment to both the pulpit and the classroom exemplifies the vision of Reformed Theological Seminary. Our entire seminary community welcomes my dear friend of many years, Dr. Ligon Duncan, in the fellowship of the gospel."
Originally from South Carolina, Duncan graduated from Furman University, and then received an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary. He studied systematic theology at the Free Church of Scotland College and then earned the Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
He served on the staff of The Covenant Presbyterian Church of St. Louis from 1984-1987, and supplied pulpits in churches of the Presbyterian Association of England, Church of Scotland, and Free Church of Scotland from 1987-1990. In 1990 he was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and joined the faculty of RTS/Jackson, where he was chairman of the department of systematic theology, and the John R. Richardson professor of theology. He became the senior minister of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, in 1996.
Duncan is an active churchman and has been involved in the courts of the PCA in various ways for many years. He was appointed to the general assembly’s Committee on Psalmody, and has served on Committees of Commissioners for Covenant Seminary, MNA, and Bills and Overtures. He has been a member and chairman of the Credentials Committee of the Presbytery of the Mississippi Valley (1996-2002). He was the vice-chairman of the general assembly’s Creation Study Committee (1998-2000), a member of the search committee for a coordinator of Reformed University Ministries, and currently is the chairman of the general assembly’s Theological Examination Committee, and is also a member of the PCA’s Strategic Planning Committee. Duncan was elected as moderator of the Presbytery of the Mississippi Valley in 2001. At the annual denominational meeting, held in June of 2004, he was elected the moderator of the General Assembly of the PCA (2004-2005) – the youngest minister to serve as moderator in the denomination’s history.
Guy Richardson, president of RTS/Jackson, said, "This appointment is a great answer to our prayers! I have personally known Ligon and his family for many years, and so it is especially delightful for me to welcome him in this new capacity. Not only is he greatly respected worldwide for his academic scholarship, he is equally known for his warm (and wise!) pastoral leadership and his friendliness to both students and colleagues alike. We are most grateful that the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson would continue to partner with us by allowing Dr. Duncan to assume this new role to help train men and women to serve Christ and His Church worldwide!"
Ligon and his wife Anne have two children.