The Institute’s mission began 15 years ago when our team worked in Bible publishing at Biblica and Zondervan. We were challenged by the fact that despite reliably high Bible sales, the statistics are clear: people are abandoning the Bible in unprecedented numbers.

This led to years of extensive research about prevailing Bible forms and practices and how they can be improved to foster deep, meaningful Bible engagement. Using this perspective our team produced resources like The Bible in 90 Days, The Story, The Books of the Bible, and Community Bible Experience that have generated over 6 million participants worldwide.

Today we have gone independent, building upon our work from the past in order to launch a Bible Reading Movement that reshapes how people read so they can become immersed in the Bible’s story.

Our Team

Scott Bolinder

Executive Director

Glenn Paauw

Senior Director, Content

Paul Caminiti

Senior Director, Mobilization

Alex Goodwin

Senior Director, Marketing Communications

Board of Advisors

Andy Crouch
Bio

Andy Crouch is a writer, editor, public speaker, and musician. He serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and is a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission’s IJM Institute. His book Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling won Christianity Today’s 2009 Book Award for Christianity and Culture and was named one of the best books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly, Relevant, Outreach and Leadership. For over ten years he was an editor and producer at Christianity Today, including executive editor from 2012 to 2016. He joined the John Templeton Foundation in 2017 as senior strategist for communication.

Read Quote

“Our world is saturated with words. And in one sense we’ve never had more access to the Word — on paper and on screens. But that very saturation makes the challenge of encouraging true reading, and transformative engagement, with Scripture far more complex than it has ever been.

“The leaders of the Institute for Bible Reading are among the most restless, insightful, and creative people I know. Anyone who cares about Bible engagement should beat a path to their door.”

Carolyn Custis James
Bio

Carolyn Custis James is an author, international speaker, and activist. Her 2015 book Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World won the Christianity Today 2016 Book of the Year Award in the Her.meneutics category, and was named to the Best 10 Books of 2015 list by Missio Alliance. Carolyn also serves as an adjunct faculty member at BTS (Biblical Theological Seminary) in Pennsylvania and as a consulting editor for Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament. She blogs at www.carolyncustisjames.com, HuffingtonPost/Religion, and as a Missio Alliance Leading Voice.

Read Quote

“Like electricity, running water, well-stocked grocery stores, and endless miles of smooth paved roads, easy access to the Bible and the ability to own a copy are privileges we take for granted. We’ve lost sight of what it took to write this much-neglected book and the price many paid to get it into our hands.

“We’re missing out on the life-transforming wisdom and the hope-filled good news it proclaims. Nothing should hold us back from diving into the grandest and best story ever told and to discover afresh the God who loves us and draws us into his story. I am grateful to be part of a movement that aims to help us do exactly that.”

Meritt Lohr Sawyer
Bio

Meritt Lohr Sawyer has given executive leadership to non-profit organizations for over thirty years as the International Program Director for Langham Partnership International, Vice President of John Stott Ministries, and co-founder of FACT (global leadership development), managing programs in almost 70 countries. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the Paul Carlson Partnership affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, an organization dedicated to medical and economic development in the Congo – DRC. Meritt is also active on the boards of Fuller Theological Seminary, Development Associates International, Able Works, and Scholar Leaders.

Read Quote

“For 500 years, the biblical word has been in our hands, galvanized by the Protestant Reformation. Yet the artificially-inserted chapters and verses have distorted the biblical narrative. I was so naive to this reality until the leadership of the Institute for Bible Reading placed their work in my hands.

“Consequently, I have been drawn into the purest, deepest connection with the Lord, Our God knowing I was reading the text in its original form. How can one not be compelled? A new reformation is upon us!”

Bio

Efrem Smith currently serves as Co-lead Pastor at Bayside Midtown Church in Sacramento, California. He consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership, and community development, and has written several books, including The Hip Hop Church, Jump, and The Post-Black and Post-White Church. Efrem speaks and preaches internationally, equipping people for a life of transformation.

Read Quote

“The Bible is where we first lose ourselves in the story and discover God’s compelling love for us that transcends economic, social, ethnic or any other status. Then, we are invited to find ourselves in the Bible, to discover our role in God’s great restoration story. The Institute for Bible Reading is doing important work to give us the tools to read the Scriptures well so we can live them well.

“Furthermore, the leaders of the Institute love the local church and are dedicated to serving pastors and their congregations for the long haul. Their focus, diligence, and innovation are ushering in a new era of Bible reading that I believe might just bring about needed revival!”

Philip Yancey
Bio

Philip Yancey is a Christian author of over twenty books, including ECPA Christian Book of the Year Award winners The Jesus I Never Knew and What’s So Amazing About Grace? His books have garnered 13 Gold Medallion Awards from Christian publishers and booksellers and have been published in 35 languages worldwide. Philip currently serves as editor-at-large for Christianity Today.

Read Quote

“No book has had greater impact on history. No book has sold more copies — or sat unread on more shelves. The Institute is committed to getting the Bible read, and understood, a worthy goal that just might start the spiritual renewal this world needs.”