Ligonier Ministries / R.C. Sproul

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/28/2021. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Summary

For 30 years, Ligonier has been producing Christian education materials designed to fill the gap between Sunday School and Seminary. Beginning as a small study center in western Pennsylvania and continuing since 1984 as a ministry staffed by more than 50 people in Orlando, Florida, Ligonier has provided Christian laypeople with substantive educational materials on theology, history, Bible study, apologetics, and Christian ethics.


Contact information

Mailing address:
Ligonier Ministries
421 Ligonier Ct.
Sanford, FL 32771

Website: www.ligonier.org

Phone: 800-435-4343

Email: service@ligonier.org


Organization details

EIN: 251298611

CEO/President: Chris Larson

Chairman: W. Robert Godfrey

Board size: 13

Founder: Dr. R.C. Sproul

Ruling year: 1971

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1980


Purpose

We Publish - God revealed Himself in a book. That makes reading an essential part of every Christian's life. We publish books, study Bibles, magazines, and online articles so that Christians can grow in their understanding of God and of themselves.

We Broadcast - Faith comes by hearing. Since hearing the word of Christ is essential to our spiritual life, every week we air podcasts, video teaching series, radio programs, and more. Trustworthy teaching from R.C. Sproul, the Ligonier Teaching Fellows, and many others is made available 24/7.

We Gather - Iron sharpens iron. Each year, in cities around the world and online, we gather Christians at events and at our Bible college to study God's Word for mutual edification. Our aim is to bless the local church and strengthen its members for greater service.


Mission statement

Proclaiming, teaching, and defending the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.


Statement of faith

Ligonier Ministries adheres to the ancient statements of faith (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon) and affirms the historic Christian faith as expressed in the five solas of the Reformation and the consensus of the historic Reformed confessions (Westminster Standards, Three Forms of Unity, and 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith).

The Bible

The Bible, in its entirety, is the infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God; it is divine revelation that carries the full weight of God's authority and to which we are obliged to submit.

The Trinity

Within the Godhead there is a unity of three distinct yet fully divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

God

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. God is fully omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, not given to learning or "openness."

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, having two natures inseparably united in one divine person without confusion, mixture, separation, or division. Each nature retains its own attributes. In the incarnation, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a perfect life among us, was crucified, dead, and buried, rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment. He is the only Mediator between God and man.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is of one substance with the Father and the Son. He eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, and He dwells in the hearts of believers, effecting their regeneration monergistically and operating in their sanctification synergistically.

Creation

God, by the word of His power, created from nothing the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He further preserves and governs all His creatures and all their actions according to His most holy, wise, and powerful providence.

Man

After God made the other creatures, He created man, both male and female, in His own image, but because Adam sinned and woefully fell in his responsibility, he and his posterity entered into a state of moral corruption and moral inability and became estranged from their Creator, thus deserving death as the punishment for sin.

Atonement

Because all have sinned, atonement must be made in order for man to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ made a complete atonement for His people through His substitutionary atoning death on the cross. He imputes His righteousness to all believers securing us full redemption for all who repent of their sin and trust in Him alone for salvation.

The Law

The moral law perfectly reflects the unchangeable character of God and forever binds all people, believers as well as unbelievers.

The Church

Christ has established a visible church, which is called to live in the power of the Holy Spirit under the regulation of the authority of Holy Scripture, preaching the gospel of Christ, administering the sacraments, and exercising discipline.

Christianity & Culture

Ligonier supports the work of Christian organizations and institutions that confess the final authority of Scripture and lordship of Jesus Christ, and are committed to the implementation of the social and cultural implications of God's commandments for the well-being of man and his environment. Ligonier especially supports those organizations that condemn the murder of defenseless human beings at the earliest stages of their development and that reject unbiblical definitions of gender, sexuality, and marriage.

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Transparency grade

A

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Educational Media

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating928 of 101047 of 52
Fund acquisition rating847 of 101241 of 52
Resource allocation rating636 of 101234 of 52
Asset utilization rating911 of 101048 of 52

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
7%14%13%18%21%19%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%11%10%13%15%14%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
93%75%77%68%75%73%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%11%12%17%16%15%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
7%25%23%32%25%27%
 
Operating ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
81%77%77%71%72%73%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
98%100%87%74%97%92%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
77%77%67%52%70%67%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
2%0%13%26%3%8%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
3%0%11%34%4%13%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
12%12%11%12%12%11%
 
Investing ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
0.870.630.570.730.980.94
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.373.392.182.073.222.90
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
1.762.131.251.513.142.72
 
Liquidity ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
9.393.204.814.342.302.70
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.100.310.210.230.430.37
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
5.613.877.616.122.162.78
 
Solvency ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
14%19%21%24%32%33%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%7%8%13%18%21%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
90%128%138%105%70%71%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20192018201720162015
Cash$8,852,436$12,149,695$9,518,538$5,076,519$6,056,826
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$1,309,366$1,583,737$5,862,207$1,984,718$1,697,566
Short-term investments$1,074,956$6,398,785$0$0$0
Other current assets$2,134,141$1,059,108$913,802$1,085,424$1,124,637
Total current assets$13,370,899$21,191,325$16,294,547$8,146,661$8,879,029
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$30,274,269$23,325,019$17,445,715$18,069,838$16,862,006
Other long-term assets$1,687,066$1,687,066$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$31,961,335$25,012,085$17,445,715$18,069,838$16,862,006
Total assets$45,332,234$46,203,410$33,740,262$26,216,499$25,741,035
 
Liabilities20192018201720162015
Payables and accrued expenses$2,355,448$2,847,295$2,232,332$1,987,645$2,119,014
Other current liabilities$1,819,865$1,553,875$1,525,599$1,553,488$1,174,470
Total current liabilities$4,175,313$4,401,170$3,757,931$3,541,133$3,293,484
Debt$3,199,139$3,750,868$4,281,808$4,792,737$5,283,826
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$1,346,549$1,487,066$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$4,545,688$5,237,934$4,281,808$4,792,737$5,283,826
Total liabilities$8,721,001$9,639,104$8,039,739$8,333,870$8,577,310
 
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$33,662,004$31,932,455$17,908,379$14,268,208$13,517,970
With donor restrictions$2,949,229$4,631,851$7,792,144$3,614,421$3,645,755
Net assets$36,611,233$36,564,306$25,700,523$17,882,629$17,163,725
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20192018201720162015
Total contributions$21,552,825$23,482,184$22,773,844$19,796,013$19,261,600
Program service revenue$6,528,446$6,571,751$6,256,300$6,303,266$6,640,170
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$0$0$4,000,000$0$0
Other revenue$495,876$364,518$237,054$215,276$422,570
Total other revenue$7,024,322$6,936,269$10,493,354$6,518,542$7,062,740
Total revenue$28,577,147$30,418,453$33,267,198$26,314,555$26,324,340
 
Expenses20192018201720162015
Program services$21,988,384$20,388,607$17,324,259$18,444,161$17,626,434
Management and general$3,446,723$2,948,893$3,060,832$3,082,229$2,770,414
Fundraising$3,095,113$3,121,244$4,178,000$4,069,261$3,719,638
Total expenses$28,530,220$26,458,744$24,563,091$25,595,651$24,116,486
 
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$46,927$3,959,709$8,704,107$718,904$2,207,854
Other changes in net assets$0$6,904,074($886,213)$0$0
Total change in net assets$46,927$10,863,783$7,817,894$718,904$2,207,854

Compensation

NameTitleCompensation
Christopher LarsonPresident$311,022
Dirk NavesChief Creative Officer$189,470
James D BridgesVP of Global Outreach$186,570
James MooreVP of Operations/Secretary$172,445
John PetersenSr. Director of Advancement$162,631
John CobbVP of Strategic Initiatives$161,217
Diane BerryDir of Finance/Treasurer$157,928
Lee WebbVP of Broadcasting$157,906
Burk ParsonsChief Publishing Officer$136,309
Sherrie Sproul DorotiakDirector/Sr. Adv. Off.$119,353
Vesta SproulDirector$110,421
Dr W Robert GodfreyChairman/Dir/Teaching Fellow$80,500
Dr Steven LawsonDirector$250

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2019


Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/28/2021. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


History

Ligonier Ministries began as the Ligonier Valley Study Center in Ligonier, Pa., nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, about an hour's drive east of Pittsburgh. The study center was a fellowship of teachers founded by Dr. R.C. Sproul and a few others at the request of several ministry leaders in Pittsburgh. They wanted to create a place where students of the Bible could gather for instruction on the things of God.

Early on, the Ligonier Valley Study Center began to record Dr. Sproul's lectures and mail them to churches and individuals. It quickly became clear that there was great demand for Dr. Sproul's teaching around the world, and the reach of the study center continued to grow. To meet this growing demand more effectively, Ligonier's board made the decision to move to Orlando, Fla., in 1984 and to change the name of the Ligonier Valley Study Center to Ligonier Ministries.

Today, Ligonier's teaching fellowship consists of theologians, pastors, and scholars who teach through Renewing Your Mind and other podcasts, the Reformation Study Bible, Tabletalk magazine, books, and hundreds of teaching series. The ministry also offers academic degrees through Reformation Bible College. In addition, Ligonier hosts regional, national, and international conferences, offers an online learning community through Ligonier Connect, streams twenty-four-hour Christian internet radio through RefNet, answers biblical and theological questions with Ask Ligonier, pursues numerous translation efforts in other countries, and makes available thousands of unique resources online at Ligonier.org.

1970s: The Ligonier Valley Study Center

A group of Christian leaders approach Dr. R.C. Sproul with the intent of founding a study center in the Ligonier Valley of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sproul establishes a teaching fellowship at the Ligonier Valley Study Center as a place where students of the Bible can gather for instruction on the things of God.

Christians from throughout the United States begin attending the study center to hear Dr. Sproul and other gifted Bible teachers.

Messages delivered in the study center are recorded so more students can benefit from this teaching ministry.

The Ligonier Statement on Inerrancy is adopted. This seminal work helps frame the enduring Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy of 1978.

Publication of Tabletalk magazine begins as an eight-page newsletter for the Ligonier Valley Study Center.

1980s: Ligonier Ministries Moves to Orlando, Florida

To help meet the rising demand for trustworthy Bible teaching, the Ligonier Valley Study Center changes its name to Ligonier Ministries and moves to Orlando, Florida, in 1984.

The Holiness of God and Chosen by God are published. These classic books further solidify Dr. Sproul's reputation as a trustworthy teacher and leader in the Christian community.

Ligonier begins to host regional and national conferences, providing an opportunity for growing Christians to gather around God's truth and learn together.

Work begins on the study notes for the New Geneva Study Bible, later republished as the Reformation Study Bible.

1990s: Broadcast Outreach Begins

The Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast begins to provide sound, in-depth teaching from Dr. Sproul and other teachers, reaching more people around the U.S.

Recording begins for many of Dr. Sproul's overview series, including Dust to Glory, Foundations, Defending Your Faith, and The Consequences of Ideas.

2000s: Book Publishing and Other Initiatives

Ligonier launches its own publishing imprint, committed to publishing books that help people connect the deep truths of the Christian faith to their daily lives. Early releases include Dr. Sproul's book The Truth of the Cross, his children's book The Lightlings, and Dr. Steven Lawson's book Foundations of Grace.

Ligonier asks Reformation Heritage Books to manage Soli Deo Gloria Publications and later invites RHB to publish and distribute Puritan titles.

In fall 2008, Ligonier announces Here We Stand, our first capital campaign. This $5.6 million effort is designed to provide the infrastructure for Reformation Bible College and the ministry's headquarters in Central Florida.

2010s: Teaching Fellows Are Formally Established and the Ministry's Reach Expands

In 2010, Ligonier formally establishes the Ligonier Teaching Fellows. Today, these trusted teachers include Drs. Sinclair Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Stephen Nichols, Burk Parsons, and Derek Thomas.

In August 2011, Reformation Bible College welcomes its inaugural class. This same year, we begin the second phase of our capital campaign to construct a new building to develop RBC's campus with additional classrooms, student commons, and more.

In 2014, we release the findings of our first biennial State of Theology survey, revealing what people actually believe about God, the Bible, truth, ethics, and more. Every two years, new surveys help reveal ongoing trends. In 2018, the survey expands to include the United Kingdom.

In 2015, we publish the thoroughly revised and carefully crafted Reformation Study Bible. Edited by Dr. Sproul, with contributions from more than seventy-five distinguished scholars, this study Bible provides an unparalleled reading, study, and discipleship experience for every age and stage of the Christian life.

In 2016, we release the Ligonier Statement on Christology, a document designed to serve the global church by carefully and succinctly restating and explaining the Bible's teaching about the person and work of Jesus Christ.

In September 2016, we host our first international conference in Mexico City.

In 2017, we release the Condensed Edition of the Reformation Study Bible, providing concise, trustworthy commentary for travel, worship, and life on the go. Translations of the Reformation Study Bible are published in German and Korean, and we launch Study Bibles for Africa to send free copies to pastors, church leaders, and students in ten African countries.

In 2018, the second phase of our capital campaign reaches its $13.6 million fundraising goal. We begin construction on Founders Hall, expanding the ministry campus to enable Reformation Bible College to better serve and train students in the knowledge of God.

In January 2018, we launch Ask Ligonier, a biblical and theological chat service. Equipped with our vast library of resources, well-trained team members answer questions online in real time at ask.Ligonier.org and on Facebook and Twitter.

In March 2018, Renovando Tu Mente, the Spanish-language edition of Renewing Your Mind, begins giving four hundred million native Spanish speakers access to Dr. Sproul's teaching.


Program accomplishments

Today, We . . .

Maintain the vision of our founder, Dr. R.C. Sproul, to see the historic Christian faith advance around the world. Offer thousands of resources available for purchase, including:

More than five hundred teaching series on apologetics, biblical studies, philosophy, ethics, Christian theology, and personal holiness in video and audio formats.
More than five hundred books authored by over one hundred teachers and authors. Topics include church history, Christian living, worldview and culture, biblical studies, and theology.
More than one hundred books written by Dr. Sproul.
Distribute millions of trustworthy biblical and theological resources annually.
Produce the Renewing Your Mind broadcast, which airs on hundreds of radio stations around the United States, as a podcast, and online at RenewingYourMind.org. These broadcasts reach people around the world. An archive of past radio interviews is also available.
Produce a variety of podcasts, including 5 Minutes in Church History, Ask Ligonier, Luther: In Real Time, Open Book, Simply Put, Ultimately with R.C. Sproul, and The Westminster Shorter Catechism, with over 1.7 million downloads every month.
Freely broadcast Christian internet radio through RefNet to listeners in more than 180 countries.
Reach over 260,000 readers with Tabletalk magazine each month in more than seventy-five countries, while bringing more content to even more readers at TabletalkMagazine.com.
Have translated many of Dr. Sproul's books into forty-five languages. Translation efforts are underway for many other books and teaching series.
Have made the Reformation Study Bible available in German, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese, with translations in Arabic and French currently underway.
Receive more than seventeen million unique visits to Ligonier.org every year.
Offer a free Ligonier mobile app that has already seen more than one million downloads.
Air trustworthy teaching on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Alexa, and Roku. Our YouTube channel alone receives more than 2.5 million plays per month.
Have answered thousands of biblical and theological questions live online with our Ask Ligonier chat service.
Have had more than ninety thousand individuals enroll in Ligonier Connect courses from over 170 countries.
Have had hundreds of students enroll in classes at Reformation Bible College.
Have hosted hundreds of thousands of people at our regional, national, and international conferences to fellowship with other believers and explore biblical truths of a particular theme or issue.
Have traveled with thousands of people on study tours and cruises.
Partner with Dr. Steven Lawson in support of The Institute for Expository Preaching.
Host apologetics training through our Always Ready youth events.
Distribute The State of Theology survey every two years to help Christians better understand what our neighbors believe about God and the Bible and equip the church with better insights for discipleship.
Serve many missions agencies and indigenous church efforts around the world to provide opportunities and educational materials for Christian growth and discipleship.
Have sent more than twenty thousand Reformation Study Bibles to pastors, church leaders, and students in Africa, with a goal to send more than 100 thousand more by 2028.
Provide trustworthy discipleship resources to hundreds of military and prison chaplains each year, better equipping them to shepherd those under their care.
Give thanks to God for the monthly financial support of thousands of Ministry Partners. We are grateful for your steadfast partnership in helping to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.


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