For more than 150 years, Christian Standard Media, formerly Standard Publishing, has been serving the Christian community with products that have but one purpose: bringing the Bible to life!
Christian Standard Media LLC is committed to the nearly 150-year tradition as a Christian mission-driven leader in true-to-the Bible resources that educate, encourage, and enrich adults, youth, and children. From the founding of a journal devoted to New Testament Christianity in 1866 to the first publication of Vacation Bible School (VBS) materials with a five-week, all day program in 1923 to its contemporary publication of its award-winning 2015 and 2016 VBS – Christian Standard Media will continue the legacy of serving church communities worldwide.
The mission, “to provide true-to-the Bible resources that inspire, educate, and motivate people to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ,” has guided the company’s rich history and now infuses Christian Standard Media’s drive to remain a trustworthy Christian ministry partner in a rapidly changing world.
Christian Standard Media publishes the highly esteemed Christian Standard® and The Lookout® magazines.
Our rich heritage has its roots with a group of physicians, attorneys, educators, preachers, and James A. Garfield, who would later become the twentieth president of the United States. In December 1865, this group met at the home of T. W. Phillips, a noted businessman and philanthropist in New Castle, Pennsylvania. They met to consider launching a journal that would be “devoted to New Testament Christianity.”
The group organized a publishing association, funded it with $20,000 in capital, and named the journal Christian Standard. Isaac Errett of Detroit, Michigan, was named the first editor. The first issue came off the press dated April 7, 1866.
After a year, funds were exhausted, and the founders wanted to shut the business down. Errett wasn’t ready to give up yet though. So the original investors gave him the journal-and all its debts!
Errett continued as editor, even as he became president of a new college in Alliance, Ohio, in 1868. Soon the situation began to improve:
In 1869, he partnered with R. W. Carroll, a printer and publisher, in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1872, Standard Publishing was formed. Readership grew, and in three years the company was incorporated. Shortly thereafter, Errett and his son Russell purchased Carroll’s shares and became sole owners.
The new company became a leading publisher of church resources:
After formation of the International Sunday School Lessons by the American Sunday School Union, the first Uniform Lessons appeared in Christian Standard in 1873. The company pioneered Sunday school materials for all ages. Examples of age-appropriate journals included Sunday School Standard, Boy’s Life, and Girlhood Days. Young People’s Standard was created to serve the Christian Endeavor movement, founded in 1888. Six years later Young People’s Standard became The Lookout. In 1923 Standard Publishing became the first publisher of Vacation Bible School (VBS) materials with a five-week, all-day program.
In 1955 the Errett family sold the business to John Bolten Sr. Bolten eventually made the company a publicly owned corporation. In late 1964 it started selling stock to the public through the New York Stock Exchange. In subsequent years the company was sold back to private investors.
In 2007, Standard Publishing moved from its historic facilities to modern offices on the north side of Cincinnati. In 2015, the company sold its Standard Lesson Bible Commentary, Study Bibles and HeartShaper Sunday school curriculum to David C Cook. At this time the corporate name was changed to Christian Standard Media, which continues to provide ministry resources, including its flagship Christian magazines, to church communities around the world.