CT (Christianity Today) has announced the pending retirement of ministry president and chief executive officer Harold B. Smith, effective May 1st 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the board, CT Board chair Gene Habecker said that: “While we are saddened to see this passionate, mission-driven leader draw his time to a close, we are nevertheless deeply grateful for the work Harold and the exceptional staff have done over this time to re-envision this communication ministry for today’s and tomorrow’s church leaders and culture makers.”
Harold assumed the lead executive role in March, 2007, following 23 years of Christianity Today service in a variety of editorial and administrative roles.
Shortly after becoming president, Harold found himself facing the recession of 2008-2009 along with the continuing challenges of a publishing industry still trying to navigate the print and digital divide. In response to both, Harold took the difficult and financially necessary step to significantly reduce the ministry’s largely print portfolio (and related staff) and strengthen Christianity Today’s digital commitment.
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As a result, more than five million unique visitors today access the ministry’s news, commentary, and assorted church resources each month on the web and in print; with over 30% of this number coming from outside of North America.
In addition, Harold has set into motion a series of initiatives giving shape to Christianity Today’s future publishing directions and emphases. Among these initiatives:
1) Unifying the remaining ministry brands under the distinctives of One Christianity Today (“Beautiful Orthodoxy our core cause; Leaders our core readers; Leading our core calling.”)
2) Implementing a decade-long process of diversifying staff and ministry writers/contributors.
3) Recommitting the nonprofit to again pursue a formal Development program for the future financial health of the ministry,
4) Jump-starting Christianity Today Global—an effort to expand the reach of Christianity Today content and resources worldwide.
In addition to raising funds for the initiative’s initial development stage, he will be presenting its vision and scope to readers and supporters across the country.
“An integral part of Billy Graham’s vision in the launch of CT was the international piece,” said Smith. “That is, the reporting of all that God was doing in his church around the world.”
In addition to dramatically expanding Christianity Today’s engagement with the church worldwide, CT Global will also seek to create publishing strategies for better engagement with North America’s communities of color.
The search firm of Carter Baldwin will work alongside the Search Committee of the CT Board to identify the next President/CEO of Christianity Today.
Christianity Today is a nonprofit, global media ministry centered on Beautiful Orthodoxy—strengthening the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. Reaching over five million people monthly through various digital and print resources, the ministry equips Christians to renew their minds, serve the church, and create culture to the glory of God.