HarperCollins Christian Publishing, already the nation’s largest religious publisher, has decided to expand its stake in the church curriculum and Bible study market with a new brand announced Tuesday, HarperChristian Resources.
HCR will draw content from current HCCP publishers, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, “as well as other Christian commercial book publishers”, and expand with new print, digital, video and streaming offerings of texts and guides for the individual and group Bible study, ministry programs and church campaigns.
The company’s announcement also highlights plans for “original projects from leading Bible teachers,” under a marketing banner of “today’s most trusted voices,” including best-selling authors. such as Max Lucado, Lysa TerKeurst, Andy Stanley, Jennie Allen, Peter Scazzero and Ann. Voskamp. Titles that authors have previously published with Thomas Nelson or Zondervan will be renamed with HarperChristian Resources upon reprint.
The announcement also highlighted an initiative to make content available to individuals across all formats, including streaming to any device. John Raymond, vice president and publisher for HCR, describes this as “reducing reliance on group leaders who typically buy the video content and share it with study group members.” Early guides offered include I am restored Video and Lecrae Study Guide (July 2021), Nothing to prove Video and study guide by Jennie Allen (July 2021), and Spiritual warfare is real Video and study guide by Jim Cymbala (July 2021).
Aim for all platforms
Don Jacobson, senior vice president and group publisher of Trade Books for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, said in the announcement that aggregating all of their programs under HCR makes the company “better positioned to be highly competitive in the retail, both online and in physical stores”. HarperChristianResources.com will serve as a marketing hub for the brand, “with information about our Bible studies teachers, their titles and subjects. The site will also feature articles, tips and encouragement for small groups and school leaders. ‘Bible Studies, powered by ChurchSource. blog and e-commerce platform.’
The Bible study and program market was shaken this winter when Beth Moore, Bible teacher and longtime bestselling author, said she was leaving the Southern Baptist Convention and leaving Lifeway, the publisher affiliated with SBC, where Bible studies and the church program are a mainstay.
Asked to respond to the announcement of HCR’s move to individual sales for the Bible Studies program and its push for top teachers and authors, Lifeway President and CEO Ben Mandrell reiterated his commitment to group Bible study. “We believe that What a group studies and how content is developed and approved are essential to this growth. Because we know that the human heart can be radically shaped by the right resource, we want to equip people with solid, theologically sound study materials.
Lifeway began offering digital access to video through the purchase of Bible study books in January and will release a video-on-demand feature this summer to “make our content much more accessible as groups continue to grow.” adapt and that group practices continue to evolve accordingly”. of COVID-19 and post-COVID realities,” he said.
More Changes to HCCP
In other HCCP moves announced this month:
— Matthew McGhee, Spanish, Portuguese and French broadcaster for Ligonier Ministries, will become associate editor for the Spanish division, which includes Vida and Grupo Nelson. McGhee will oversee the editorial acquisition, development and management of the list of all Spanish adult fiction and non-fiction, children, programs and reference/academics.
—Jamie Lockard, formerly Vice President of Marketing for Nelson Books, will replace Jeff James as Vice President and Publisher of Focus, the publisher’s Leadership imprint. Lockard will be responsible for the print and digital content publishing program, including the continued development of the HarperCollins Leadership Essentials online courses and other future formats.
– Angela Guzman, Editor and Managing Editor of HCCP, will lead a publishing team to refresh and revitalize past titles.