Following a healthy demand in the market that started in 2016, Christian publishers are hoping they can generate more readers by appealing to niche audiences who are interested in books on the Enneagram—an ancient personality typing system with roots in Christianity and Islamic and Eastern mysticism. New titles on the nine interconnected personality types address relationships, professional lives, and more.

One of the first books on the Enneagram from a religion publisher is by Franciscan priest Fr. Richard Rohr: The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, written with Andreas Ebert (1989, Crossroad). An illustrated edition followed in 2001, and according to NPD BookScan, print sales total roughly 93,000. Perhaps the most popular Enneagram title to date is The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (IVP, 2016) by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, which surpassed 500,000 copies sold in 2020. IVP expects it to reach a million copies sold “in the near term,” according to the press.

IVP followed up on the success of The Road Back to You in 2018 with The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships, and again in 2021 with The Journey Toward Wholeness, both by Stabile. Combined, the two books have sold over 100,000 copies, according to BookScan. Stabile also served as editor for the nine books in The Enneagram Daily Reflections series, which IVP created when “we began to notice that most of the authors and speakers on the topic of the Enneagram were white,” says IVP’s divisional v-p for editorial Cindy Bunch. Series authors include Morgan Harper Nichols, Juanita Rasmus, Gideon Yee Shun Tsang, Christine Yi Suh, and Sean Palmer. The books—one for each Enneagram number—were released between October 2020 and late 2021.

While IVP has no frontlist titles on the Enneagram at this time, several other Christian publishers are bringing out new books that explore ways the system can foster understanding in increasingly specific areas of life. Baker Books has three forthcoming titles: The Enneagram and Your Marriage: A 7-Week Guide to Better Understanding and Loving Your Spouse by Jackie Brewster (March 21); The Enneagram of Emotional Intelligence: A Journey to Personal and Professional Success by Scott Allender, with a foreword by Ian Morgan Cron (April 25); and another title for married couples, The Enneagram in Marriage: Your Guide to Thriving Together in Your Unique Pairing by Christa Hardin (October 3).

“The main draw is that these books are really specific about applying the Enneagram,” says Patnacia Goodman, nonfiction acquisitions editor for Baker Books. “They use the framework we understand and apply it to our day-to-day lives.”

Published by Zondervan on January 24, How We Relate: Understanding God, Yourself, and Others through the Enneagram by Jesse Eubanks, a certified Enneagram coach and podcaster at The Enneacast, applies the Enneagram to the gospel story and examines ways that Jesus demonstrated all nine personality types.

“Readers who benefit from the Enneagram to better understand human personality will find Jesse’s work is uplifting, enlightening, and thoroughly Christian,” says Paul Pastor, senior acquisitions editor for Zondervan.

Pastor addressed recent criticism of the Enneagram by Christian author, artist, and speaker Jackie Hill Perry, who deemed the system as being “doctrines of demons, divination, witchcraft.”

“That perspective grabs attention easily, but it’s inaccurate,” says Pastor. “While many Enneagram skeptics ask valid questions—about the history or depth of the tool for example—'demonic’ it most certainly is not.”

When asked about the Enneagram’s future popularity, Goodman at Baker says interest could be on the wane, unless the niching-out of the topic can continue. Prospective books will “have to dive deep and bring something new to the conversation,” she notes.

Pastor at Zondervan expects "to see Enneagram-connected resources continuing to follow trending topics in our culture.” These include the importance of forming authentic connections with others in a digital and social media-driven society.

“People want meaningful relationships in a world that feels increasingly cold and artificial, and there is a draw for some to better understand themselves so they can better connect with others,” Pastor continues. “The Enneagram makes that personal for many people.”