(ATLANTA, Ga.) June 18, 2012 – Dr. Derek Thomas, previously a faculty member of the Jackson campus of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) and most recently the distinguished visiting professor for RTS, has now been appointed to become a regular faculty member at RTS/Atlanta, while continuing his role as the minister of preaching and teaching at First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, SC. Beginning July 1, 2012, Thomas will be the professor of systematic and historical theology at RTS/Atlanta.
RTS/Atlanta President John Sowell said, “Dr. Derek Thomas is exactly what a seminary student should seek in a professor. Not only is he a careful and widely published scholar, Dr. Thomas is one of today’s great preachers. Moreover, he is every bit as much a “practicing pastor” as he is an academic. And, in leading Dr. Derek Thomas to join the faculty of RTS/Atlanta, our merciful God is showing His love to the church and to the many students who will learn the riches of God’s grace from Dr. Thomas.”
President Sowell further remarked, “Those who have heard his sermons and lectures, as well as anyone who has studied Derek’s books and commentaries, grasp that Dr. Thomas is a rare gift to the church. We encourage students of God’s Word to take advantage of opportunities to study systematic and historical theology with this gifted man of God.”
After pastoring for 17 years in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dr. Thomas returned to the USA in 1996 where, in addition to his service to the Jackson campus as the John E. Richards professor of systematic and practical theology, he served as the minister of teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson until 2011. In addition to serving in the pastorate, Derek has served as editor of the Evangelical Presbyterian, a monthly denominational magazine. A graduate of RTS in 1978, he gained a Ph.D. from the University of Wales, Lampeter in Calvin’s preaching on the book of Job. He has written or edited 15 books and has contributed to commentary series by Banner of Truth and Evangelical Press. In 2004, Derek Thomas became editorial director for The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and the editor of its ezine, Reformation 21. He is married to Rosemary, and they have two adult children and two grandchildren.
Michael Milton, chancellor of RTS, said, “The biblical model for pastoral preparation, and the training of all of God’s people for kingdom service, begins with an incarnational ministry. At RTS we desire ‘pastor-scholars,’ with a love for Christ’s church and experience in the pulpit and parish, to shape the hearts and minds of the next generation of shepherds. My friend and colleague, Dr. Derek Thomas, is just such a man. We thank FPC Columbia for ‘sharing’ his gifts with RTS. May the Word go forth with biblical fidelity and pastoral warmth as many new ‘laborers for His harvest’ are prepared at RTS Atlanta!”