After nearly nineteen years as the publisher of InterVarsity Press, Bob Fryling has announced that he will be retiring in June 2016. "This has not been a quick or easy decision as I still love IVP and our calling as a leading publisher of thoughtful Christian books," Fryling said. "Neither my passion nor my commitment to IVP has waned but as an entirely personal decision it seems like an appropriate time to allow others the privilege of leading IVP."
Jim Lundgren, interim president for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA (IVCF), is leading a search process for both internal and external candidates for Fryling's successor.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the work and people at IVP. Any and all successes of IVP have been because of these dedicated and talented colleagues who are committed to our authors, our books and to our God," Fryling said. "I have especially enjoyed the relationships with authors and being able to talk about IVP books with a wide variety of audiences in the church, the academy and the marketplace."
Fryling has been involved with IVCF and IVP for more than fifty years, starting as a student leader at Drexel University in 1964. He was in campus ministry for twenty-seven years, including fourteen as national director of campus ministries, and has been a vice president of InterVarsity for thirty years. He began at InterVarsity Press in July 1997. Fryling has also served for eleven years as a board member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).
"For twenty-seven years, Bob Fryling served our work on campus with distinction in a number of vital roles; campus staff, regional director and national campus director," Lundgren said. "Then in 1997, he moved into the director and then the publisher role at InterVarsity Press. As publisher, Bob has built a strongly unified and gifted leadership team that has skillfully led our press in thriving even through some of the most challenging years in the history of Christian publishing. In addition, Bob has served with distinction as a vice president and member of InterVarsity's cabinet. In every way, Bob has brought a passion for our Lord and the mission of InterVarsity Press into all his leadership."
In addition to his work as publisher, Fryling has coauthored three books with his wife, Alice, including A Handbook for Engaged Couples, A Handbook for Married Couples, and Handbook for Parents. Respected for his leadership in various capacities, Fryling is also the author of The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are.
Kathryn Helmers, a literary agent whose list with IVP goes back twenty years and includes such clients as Richard J. Foster, Tim Johnson, Mark Labberton and James Bryan Smith, said, "The only thing Bob Fryling is better at than leading a superbly talented publishing team with a remarkable list of high-quality, award-winning books is being a smart, funny, thoughtful and gracious human being. What a wonderful legacy."
Although Fryling does not yet have specific plans for his retirement, he said, "I am finding out more about the mystery of God than the blueprint of God. I look forward to what will come next."
As for his hopes for IVP's future he said, "I believe IVP has a significant calling and role in Christian publishing and the church. The tremendous breadth and depth of what IVP publishes is a tangible expression of the body of Christ serving her Lord in all of life. Because IVP is rooted in both the university world and in a missional movement it will always seek truth while demonstrating grace in being a winsome witness in the world. I trust that the future of IVP will always be inextricably linked with pursuing God’s Kingdom here on earth."