The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association has named Jeff Crosby—currently chairman of the ECPA board and the publisher of IVP—as the new ECPA president and CEO. He succeeds Stan Jantz who had served in those roles since 2015 at the ECPA.
Dan Kok—senior v-p of operations at Crossway, vice-chair of the ECPA board, and who led the search—calls Crosby as “a proven, effective leader who has a firm understanding of the Christian publishing landscape” who will “keep the momentum going that Stan created as ECPA President/CEO.”
Crosby takes the helm August 1, in time for a slew of ECPA events including the C-Suite Symposium in September, the annual Publishing University sessions, the Art of Writing seminars, and The Christy Award® celebration. In Thursday’s announcement, Crosby said, he was grateful for the opportunity and looking forward “to serving our membership in the years to come as we seek to meet our industry’s challenges and seize opportunities to make Christian literature known throughout the world.”
Crosby told PW Thursday how his life has been shaped by books and by Christian publishing. In 1983, after a brief post-college job as a sports editor at a daily newspaper, he and his wife Cindy purchased and managed Logos Bookstore in Bloomington, Ind. He served as executive director of the Association of Logos Bookstores and as a v-p of sales at Ingram Book Company from 1995 to 1997 before joining IVP in 1998 where he was named publisher in 2016. IVP is beginning a search for Crosby’s successor but no interim publisher has been named although, Crosby says, “one may certainly be chosen if my successor is not in place prior to my end date in three months."
During his tenure as publisher: InterVarsity Press rebranded as IVP; for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years pre-pandemic sales were up a total of 27% over the prior two years; But asked to describe his imprint as a publisher, Crosby briefly mentioned the company's growth and stability before turning to the human side. He listed:
- The advocacy for IVP's Every Voice Now initiative led by people of color and designed to elevate voices of color through publishing.
- The partnership with Seminary Now on the launch of an online platform for education, training, and equipping persons in the church.
- The repeated certifications as a Best Christian Workplaces throughout his tenure, which dated to well before he assumed the role of publisher.
Looking forward to his new role with the ECPA, Crosby was enthusiastic about current initiatives by Jantz and the board including the newly announced Diversity & Inclusion Standing Committee and the engagement by ECPA staff and board “stimulating conversations around racial justice last spring in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing.”
He said he has long marveled “at the way ECPA as an organization equips, encourages, and advocates for its members and the publishing professionals who comprise them. From ECPA's Publishing University to C-Suite, to Leadership Summit; from its advocacy in Washington regarding Chinese tariffs to the adaptations throughout this COVID-19 season, it's been an organization that has made a tremendous positive impact on our industry. I am but one for whom that's true.
“I've been privileged through roles in the three major facets of our industry — bookselling, distribution, and since 1998, publishing—to be something of an 'evangelist' for the good things that books bring into the world, and to herald the urgency of engaging with them, “ Crosby told PW. “I believe that books are, in the words of the theologian Klaus Bockmuehl, 'God's instruments' in the history of the world."
So, he says, he has never looked back after his brief post-college job as a daily newspaper sports editor “though I have missed the press row seats at Wrigley Field!”