Social networking websites such as Facebook and You Tube, the availability of information at our fingertips via the Internet, and an increasingly visual culture all contribute to the decline of reading across America. One of InterVarsity’s commitments is to the discipleship of the mind. Through resources from InterVarsity Press, staff train students in Christian discipleship and develop them as future leaders of the church and society.
InterVarsity Press began in the United States during the 1939-1940 academic year. Importing books from InterVarsity’s sister movement in Great Britain for use by college students in the US led to InterVarsity Press’s first home-grown publication, Discovering the Gospel of Mark, a Bible study guide written by staff member Jane Hollingsworth. Use of Christian resources on campuses grew. By 1952 InterVarsity Press had sold 178,000 books and Bible study guides.
In 1966, the book How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little was published, which remains one of InterVarsity Press’s top titles today. Currently, between ninety and one hundred new titles are published each year, with over a thousand books, Bible studies, and booklets available. InterVarsity Press ships more than 2.3 million books each year around the world and translates their published resources into dozens of languages. The mission of InterVarsity Press is to continue to equip, edify, and challenge people in every generation—heart, soul, mind, and strength.
“To encourage reading in the InterVarsity chapter on campus, I have required reading that all student leaders must complete in discipleship each semester and over the summer. The Leadership Team is reading A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson, (InterVarsity Press),” said Tim Borgstrom, campus staff member at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Student leaders also read works about community development, spiritual disciplines, biblical interpretation, prayer, and evangelism. A specific InterVarsity Press book is studied each semester, covering the current topic. “An advanced class is offered for second-year leaders studying various books on theology,” Tim said.
InterVarsity’s vision of “students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed” cannot be realized unless we receive the Holy Spirit’s ministry through the words of Christ’s body on earth, often accessed through reading.