God has shown Himself gracious to Reformation Bible College in providing rapid growth to the young institution and in confirming ongoing plans to have the right people in place at every stage of the college’s expansion. As such, Dr. R.C. Sproul and the Board of Directors of Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Stephen J. Nichols as the second president of Reformation Bible College. This appointment is concurrent with Dr. Nichols accepting the position of chief academic officer for Ligonier Ministries.
Dr. R.C. Sproul, the first president of RBC and soon-to-be chancellor of the institution, expressed his delight on the occasion of this announcement. “Our long-term plan to ensure that Reformation Bible College grows under the direction of godly, qualified leadership enables me to maintain effective oversight of all of the outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Adding Dr. Nichols as president of RBC advances our outreach significantly,” Dr. Sproul said. “In Dr. Nichols, God has provided us with a leader whose passion for the great truths of the Christian faith, the wisdom of the Reformed tradition, and love for education will serve the needs of our students and faculty well in the years ahead.”
Dr. Nichols is a longtime friend of Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College, having served as a Ligonier teaching fellow and adjunct professor of historical theology at RBC. He is being appointed to the presidency of RBC after seventeen years as a Bible college and seminary professor. Dr. Nichols was most recently the research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pa., and he has also taught courses for Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, Miss., Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C.) and Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
“It is with deep pleasure and gratitude that I join the team at Ligonier in serving this generation and the generation to come in the cause of Christ,” Dr. Nichols said on the occasion of his appointment. “By God’s grace, I am committed to keeping RBC and Ligonier faithful to their theological vision and educational mission. A remarkably gifted faculty for RBC has been gathered in central Florida, and I am honored to work with these godly men, as well as with the staff of Ligonier.”
In addition to overseeing Reformation Bible College and ensuring that the institution’s policies and goals are carried out, Dr. Nichols will also be serving as the chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. In this newly created position, Dr. Nichols will be responsible for working in conjunction with the president of Ligonier to actively promote and safeguard fidelity to the mission, vision, and the theological position and commitment of Dr. R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. Dr. Nichols will provide leadership and vision for all of the teaching outreaches of Ligonier. He will also work actively with the other Ligonier teaching fellows in developing new projects and contributions for Ligonier’s extensive resource catalog. In this position, Dr. Nichols will continue to write, teach, and speak for both Ligonier students and the wider church.
“Having Dr. Nichols as a full-time member of the Ligonier team is a key step forward, enabling us to accelerate our robust discipleship outreach as we serve the church around the world,” said Chris Larson, president of Ligonier Ministries. “His theological and personal integrity will serve the church well as we preserve Ligonier’s heritage of sound teaching and expand our mission to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.”
Dr. Nichols holds degrees from Cairn University (BS), West Chester University (MA in philosophy), and Westminster Theological Seminary (MAR, PhD). He is a recognized Jonathan Edwards scholar and longtime member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Nichols is also a prolific author whose many books include J. Gresham Machen: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought, Jonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought, and For Us and Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church. He also regularly contributes to both online and print journals and magazines, and he is editor of the Guided Tour series from P&R and co-editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series from Crossway. Dr. Nichols is a frequent conference speaker who also lectures in churches and on seminary and college campuses, and he is the host of the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
Dr. Nichols will assume his new positions at Ligonier Ministries and RBC on July 1, 2014. Please join us in praying for Reformation Bible College, Dr. Nichols, and Ligonier Ministries as Dr. Nichols takes up his new responsibilities.