The move to Orlando also coincided with a significant development regarding the publication Tabletalk. Started in 1977, Tabletalk was redesigned and reformatted in 1989. Offering articles around a theme and daily devotionals, Tabletalk has continually grown in circulation, now with more than one hundred thousand copies distributed monthly. It encapsulates R.C.’s vision for encouraging God’s people not only to read God’s Word but also to study God’s Word. During this time, R.C. published two classic books: The Holiness of God in 1985, followed by Chosen by God in 1986. All the while, the teaching series continued to be produced, recorded, and distributed.
R.C.’s first radio program, The R.C. Sproul Study Hour, aired in 1982. In 1986, Ask R.C. aired on six radio stations. These were building up to the launch of Renewing Your Mind in 1994. Of course, the first episodes would be his series on the holiness of God. Christian radio consisted mostly of sermons. RYM aired teaching episodes. You could hear the chalk as R.C. dotted i’s and crossed t’s. He made you feel like you were sitting in his class, that he was talking directly to you. There was nothing else like it on the air, and it soon became a staple for commuters. It continues to be.
More books were written. Conferences continued to be held in Orlando, across the country, and, eventually, around the world. Ligonier also started hosting study tours in the Holy Land and in the fabled cities of the Reformers. As technology developed, Ligonier expanded the means to communicate and promulgate the teaching. The website remains a significant and efficient tool to distribute teaching. Additionally, there is RefNet, a host of podcasts, Ligonier Connect, and Ask Ligonier. All these initiatives, and new ones under development, leverage technology to proclaim the holiness of God to as many people as possible.
While Ligonier continued to expand its reach, in 2011 it returned to its roots by opening the doors of Reformation Bible College in central Florida. The college has around 140 students on campus, with an additional one hundred students taking courses online. Ligonier also expanded the teaching base in 2010 to include the teaching fellows. Alongside the vast array of teaching materials from R.C., Ligonier provides a platform for the writing and speaking of the teaching fellows and other trusted teachers. Since 1971, Ligonier has served to bring teachers to students.
Ligonier also expanded beyond the English language and currently operates websites in seven different languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, and Chinese. New content is added daily to each of these sites. In March 2018, Ligonier first aired Renovando tu Mente, the daily Spanish language version of Renewing Your Mind. These efforts also include translating many books by R.C. and others, as well as producing translations of the Reformation Study Bible. Ligonier Ministries, like the point at Three Rivers, has become a place of international consequence.
Whenever a significant initiative was launched or a milestone reached, R.C. would take a moment to celebrate. Then he would turn to those around him and ask, “What’s next?” We continue to ask that question. The answer on the one hand is that we don’t know. We do know that God has been faithful to us from the very beginning and through challenging years. And as we mourned the passing of R.C. in the final days of 2017, God blessed Ligonier. In these past three years, we have seen the most expansive outreach in the history of Ligonier. For these past fifty years, we are grateful. But may we never be presumptuous. Ligonier serves the church, and we serve by the divine prerogative of our holy God. Looking to God, we ask: What might the next fifty years bring? As we look back to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary together with you, please know that we are looking ahead, renewed in our commitment to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible. We have set a course for faithfulness, not knowing what comes next, but eagerly anticipating what God will do.