Clemson University, B.S.
Reformed Theological Seminary, MDiv
University of Edinburgh, Ph.D.

About Dr. Rankin

Raised in a Southern Presbyterian home with shared roots in the Moravian ministry, Dr. Rankin graduated summa cum laude from Clemson University in Ceramic Engineering, where he was founding president of the campus Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. After working for DuPont at the Savannah River Laboratory and Ph.D. studies in Materials Science at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology, the Lord redirected Duncan’s steps from a successful career in the sciences towards the Gospel ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). After completing his Master of Divinity studies at Covenant Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson, Mississippi, he took his Ph.D. at the New College of the University of Edinburgh by writing on “Carnal Union with Christ in the Theology of T.F. Torrance.”

Appointed to the Department of Systematic Theology at RTS-Jackson in 1993, Duncan served 10 years full time, teaching courses in dogmatic and historical theology. Active on the Theology and Strategy Working Group of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Duncan was also a recipient of a John Templeton Foundation 1999 Science and Religion Course Prize and taught a course in Science and Theology at RTS.  At the Millennium, the Rankin family escaped the ravages of Y2K by sojourning in the quiet Scottish Highland village of Muir of Ord, before Duncan served as guest minister for Dr. David Robertson at St. Peter’s Free Church of Scotland in Dundee, home of the historic pulpit of Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne and current home of the SOLAS Ministry.

Duncan has pastored churches in the Southeast and Texas before settling in the mountains of southwestern Virginia.  In addition to service at RTS, Duncan served as a member of the Board of Directors for GRACE—a Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, a Visiting Professor for Ligonier Ministries’ Reformation Bible College, Sanford, Florida, a Distinguished Professor at Erskine Theological Seminary, and a Professor of Systematic Theology at BRITE—the Blue Ridge Institute for Theological Education.

He and his wife Shirley have three fine adult children and one darling dog!


  • “Calvin’s Correspondence on Our Threefold Union with Christ,” in The Hope Fulfilled: Essays in Honor of O. Palmer Robertson, P&R Publishing, 2008.
  • “Peter Martyr Vermigli on Union with Christ,” Haddington House Journal 7 (2005), 101-124.
  • “Restoring Love,” in Tabletalk by Ligonier Ministries, June 2005.
  • The Early Reformation in Scotland: Lessons for this Twenty-First Century (Men’s Scriptural Fellowship), April 2001.
  • W. Duncan Rankin and Stephen R. Berry, “The Woodrow Evolution Controversy,” in Did God Create in Six Days?, The Covenant Foundation, 1999.
  • Introduction, Federal Theology, by John L. Girardeau, Reformed Academic Press, 1994.
  • “Thomas Forsyth Torrance,” in Dictionary of Twentieth Century Christian Biography, ed. by J.D. Douglas, Baker, 1994.
  • James Henley Thornwell and the Westminster Confession of Faith, A Press, 1986.
  • W.D. Rankin and G.G. Wicks, “The Chemical Durability of Savannah River Plant Waste Glass as a Function of Waste Loading,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 66[6] 1983, 417-420.