Cover of the April 2010 issue.
|Former editors||Carl F. H. Henry, David Neff, Terry C. Muck & George K. Brushaber|
|First issue||October 1956|
|Company||Christianity Today International|
|Based in||Carol Stream, Illinois|
Christianity Today magazine is an evangelical Christian periodical that was founded in 1956 and is based in Carol Stream, Illinois. The Washington Post calls Christianity Today, "evangelicalism's flagship magazine";The New York Times describes it as a "mainstream evangelical magazine".
Christianity Today magazine has a print circulation of approximately 130,000, of which approximately 36,000 is free, and readership of 260,000, as well as a website at ChristianityToday.com. The founder, Billy Graham, stated that he wanted to "plant the evangelical flag in the middle-of-the-road, taking the conservative theological position but a definite liberal approach to social problems". Graham started the magazine as counterpoint to The Christian Century, the predominant independent periodical of mainline Protestantism, and as a way to bring the evangelical Christian community together.
The first issue of Christianity Today was mailed October 15, 1956, and the opening editorial, Why 'Christianity Today'?, stated "Christianity Today has its origin in a deep-felt desire to express historical Christianity to the present generation. Neglected, slighted, misrepresented--evangelical Christianity needs a clear voice, to speak with conviction and love, and to state its true position and its relevance to the world crisis. A generation has grown up unaware of the basic truths of the Christian faith taught in the Scriptures and expressed in the creeds of the historic evangelical churches."
Its first editor was Carl F. H. Henry. Notable contributors in its first two decades included F. F. Bruce, Edward John Carnell, Frank Gaebelein, Walter Martin, John Warwick Montgomery, and Harold Lindsell. Lindsell succeeded Henry as editor and during his editorial administration much attention centered on debates about biblical inerrancy. Later editorial leadership came from Kenneth Kantzer, Terry Muck, and David Neff. The current editor is Mark Galli, and the publication now includes print, online, and various ancillary products. Andy Olsen is managing editor of the print edition, and Richard Clark is managing editor of online journalism. Contents of print and online include feature stories, news ranging from cultural issues from a Christian viewpoint to the global church, opinion, reviews, and investigative reporting.
In Billy Graham's 1997 autobiography, Just As I Am, he writes of his vision, idea, and history with Christianity Today and his early meeting with oil company executive, John Howard Pew, to establish the publication.
Harold Myra, who became president and chief executive of the magazine in 1975, believed that a "family" of magazines would disperse overhead expenses and give more stability to the organization. At the same time, he rejected expansion simply for expansion's sake, writing: "our main concern was to make Christianity Today, the flagship publication, fully effective in three basic areas: editorial, circulation, advertising. Anything which would drain off energies from the prime task was unthinkable." Christianity Today founded or acquired periodicals during the 1980s and 90s, beginning with Leadership, a quarterly journal for clergy, in 1980. In 2005, Christianity Today International published 12 magazines, but following the financial downturn of 2008 it was forced to shutter several publications. By 2017 that had further winnowed to three.
The first "sister publication" added to the Christianity Today publishing group was Leadership: A Practical Journal for Church Leaders, launched in 1980. The subtitle clearly defined the journal's mission: it was a quarterly publication, aimed primarily at clergy, and focusing on the practical concerns of ministry and church leadership. The first issue of Leadership sold out its initial press run of 50,000 copies, and the publication was in the black after a single issue. The journal continued in print for 36 years. After volume 37, issue 1 (winter 2016), Christianity Today discontinued the print publication, replacing it with expanded content in Christianity Today for pastors and church leaders and occasional print supplements, as well as a new website, CTPastors.com.
In 1982, Christianity Today purchased the magazine Campus Life, aimed at a high school audience, from its parent organization, Youth For Christ. The name of the magazine was changed to Ignite Your Faith in 2006. It ceased publication in 2009.
Partnership was launched in 1984 as a magazine for wives of clergy. In 1987 it was renamed Marriage Partnership and expanded its focus to marriage in general, not just clergy marriages. The magazine ceased publication in 2009.
Today's Christian Woman was founded in 1978 and acquired by Christianity Today from the Fleming H. Revell Co. in 1985. It discontinued print publication in 2009 and was replaced with a "digizine" called Kyria, which was online only but still required a paid subscription to access, although at a lower price than the print magazine. In 2012 the name of the digital publication was changed back to Today's Christian Woman, and in 2016 it stopped being issued as a regularly scheduled digital periodical.
Christian History was a journal of the history of Christianity, first issued in January 1982 by the Christian History Institute. Each issue had multiple articles covering a single theme. Initially published annually, it became a quarterly publication. Christianity Today took over ownership of the magazine beginning with issue number 22 in 1989; it was later discontinued after the publication of issue 99 in 2008. In 2011 the Christian History Institute resumed quarterly publication of the magazine. Christian History archives can still be found on ChristianityToday.com under its special section.
Christian Reader, a digest magazine in the vein of Reader's Digest, was founded in 1963 by Tyndale House Publishers founder Ken Taylor. Christianity Today purchased the magazine in 1992. The name was changed to Today's Christian in 2004. In 2008, Christianity Today sold the magazine to the ministry Significant Living.
Books & Culture was a bimonthly book review and intellectual journal modeled after the New York Review of Books and The New York Times Book Review published by Christianity Today International from 1995 to 2016. At the end of its publication life, the magazine's circulation was 11,000 and its readership was 20,000. It was edited by John Wilson, and notable contributors included Mark Noll, Lauren Winner, Alan Jacobs, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Miroslav Volf.
Virtue, a magazine for Christian women, was founded in 1978. Christianity Today purchased the publication from Cook Communications Ministries in 1998 after that publisher abruptly closed the magazine. Christianity Today revived the magazine and continued publishing it for two more years before discontinuing publication following the December/January 2000 issue.
Christian Parenting Today (originally titled Christian Parenting) was founded in 1989. Christianity Today purchased the magazine from Cook Communications Ministries in 1998 in the same deal in which it acquired Virtue. It ceased publication in 2005.
A Portuguese-language edition, Christianity Today Brazil, was launched in October/November 2007.[not specific enough to verify] A Korean-language edition, Christianity Today Korea, was launched in June 2008.[not specific enough to verify] Two international editions of Leadership Journal were launched in 2012: an African edition in September (English), and a Portuguese edition in October.
The magazine's mission statement is to "provide evangelical thought leaders a sense of community, coherence, and direction through thoughtful, biblical commentary on issues and through careful, caring reporting of the news." Its presence on the Internet began in October 1994 when it became one of the top 10 content providers on all of AOL. Then, in 1996, their website was launched. It was originally named ChristianityOnline.com before becoming ChristianityToday.com. Today ChristianityToday.com serves as the web home for Christianity Today magazine, which now has distinct sections for Local Church Pastors, Reporting,  Women, History,  and Spanish  readers.
At the ministry's web home, ChristianityToday.org, all other brands for Christian thought leaders and church leaders are featured, including publications like the intellectual Christian review, Books & Culture, and the website for pastors and church leaders, CT Pastors. Additional web resources include Men of Integrity and Preaching Today. Many of the brands published online under the Christianity Today banner are the online legacies of former print publications.
All Christianity Today brands together reach more than 2.5 million people every month when print and digital views are combined, plus more than 5 million pageviews per month on the Internet. The ministry offers access, both premium and free, to over 100,000 articles and other content on their various websites.