Crossway board appoints Josh Dennis as new president
WHEATON, Ill. (August 9, 2019) — The Crossway Board of Directors is delighted to announce that Josh Dennis has been unanimously elected as the next President of Crossway, effective immediately.
Speaking on behalf of the Crossway Board, Dr. Paul House, Chair of the Nominating Committee, noted, “Over the past seventeen years, Josh Dennis has demonstrated creative excellence, fiscal responsibility, administrative skill, and humble collegiality in his work at Crossway.”
“Most importantly,” House added, “Josh has committed his life, family, and vocation to Jesus Christ. He exhibits Christian character in his conversations, demeanor, marriage, parenting, church life, and friendships. With Josh’s godly character and his in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in Christian publishing, the Crossway Board is confident that Josh is the Lord’s choice to lead Crossway for the next generation.”
Josh Dennis’s election follows twenty months of careful discussion, prayer, and consideration of other alternatives by Crossway’s Board. The twenty-month season of reflection and multiple rounds of interviews led the Board to vote yesterday to install Josh as President at Crossway’s Semi-Annual Meeting on August 8, 2019, in Wheaton, Illinois.
Raised in Wheaton, Josh has been closely associated with Crossway as a family ministry from an early age. Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Taylor University, majoring in art and design, with a minor in business. Upon graduating in 2002, he returned to Wheaton to begin his career as a designer for Crossway. For the last several years, Josh has served as one of Crossway’s four Executive Vice Presidents. As the Executive Vice President of Creative, he has overseen the areas of Design, Marketing, Video, and Digital Media. Josh and his wife, Bethany, have been married for eighteen years, have three young sons, and are active members of College Church in Wheaton.
Over the years, Josh has played a strategic role on a number of major projects at Crossway—including, for example, The Biggest Story, a best-selling children’s book by Kevin DeYoung that was developed in close collaboration with well-known illustrator Don Clark; the highly innovative ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set; and the ESV Illuminated Bible, featuring hundreds of original pieces of artwork by noted artist Dana Tanamachi. Under Josh’s leadership, Crossway’s design work has garnered widespread industry recognition and numerous awards—including 26 Top Shelf Book Cover Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (ECPA).
In all of his work, Josh remains committed to Crossway’s core mission as a not-for-profit ministry focused on publishing gospel-centered resources—a passion that found particular expression in his leadership over Crossway’s ESV Global Study Bible initiative in 2013, raising the funds needed for free distribution of over 350,000 ESV Global Study Bibles in more than thirty countries in Africa and Asia. Josh has likewise played a major role in the publication and distribution of more than 200 million print copies of the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible, first published in 2001, and in the development of digital Bible tools that have made it possible for people around the world to access more than 1 billion chapters of the ESV Bible annually.
Josh will succeed his father, Dr. Lane Dennis, who served as President of Crossway from 1987 to 2019 and will continue on in the role of CEO, along with Ebeth Dennis as Crossway co-CEO. Commenting on the transition, Lane said, “Over the last five years, we have seen significant growth at Crossway in terms of book and Bible sales and global ministry.” Lane continued, “Josh has quietly and consistently made a key contribution to that growth in his role as Executive VP of Creative—as he has been entrusted with the responsibility of ‘incarnating’ the content that we publish in an aesthetically beautiful way. During his tenure at Crossway, Josh has acquired in-depth knowledge of the full range of publishing functions across the organization—from content acquisition and development, to design and production, to marketing and sales, and to operations and ministry.”
As Lane noted further, “It is a great joy to all of us on the Crossway Board, and to Ebeth and me personally, for Josh be the Lord’s choice to lead Crossway for the next generation. We have a unique sense of unity within the executive leadership team and throughout Crossway concerning this decision. Josh is a man of ‘humble and contrite spirit’ (Isaiah 66:2), who loves God’s Word and the gospel. We look forward to the Lord’s continued leading and ongoing provision for Crossway in the future under Josh’s leadership.”
In addition to selecting Josh as President, the Board also approved the promotion of Dr. Dane Ortlund to the position of Chief Publishing Officer and Bible Publisher, and Anthony Gosling to the position of Chief Operating Officer, with Dr. Justin Taylor continuing to serve as Executive VP and Book Publisher.
Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, which was founded by Josh’s grandparents, Clyde and Muriel Dennis, in 1938. As the founder of Good News, Clyde was a pioneer in providing excellence, beauty, and creativity in the design and publication of Christian literature. Good News published and distributed fifty million gospel tracts a year by the mid-1940s. At the age of forty-eight, after an extended illness—caused by extensive exposure to printing chemicals as a young man—Clyde Dennis was taken home to his Father in heaven in 1962. Upon Clyde’s death, his wife, Muriel, was elected President by the Good News Board, serving in that capacity for the next twenty-five years.
Crossway, as a ministry of Good News, was founded by Lane and Ebeth Dennis—Josh Dennis’s parents—in the fall of 1978, when the Good News Board unanimously approved the new Crossway book publishing program proposed by Lane and Ebeth. The first four Crossway titles, published in early 1979, included a book by Dr. J. I. Packer titled Knowing Man, and a book by Sherwood Wirt, the editor of Decision Magazine, titled Heroes of the Faith. Books by Dr. Francis Schaeffer—including A Christian Manifesto and Schaeffer’s Complete Works—were foundational publications in the early years of Crossway. Today, Crossway publishes over 1,000 book titles, in seventy languages, by more than four hundred authors—all of which exemplify Crossway’s commitment to “Gospel-Centered Publishing.”
Reflecting on the future of the company, Josh said, “By God’s grace, Crossway has remained faithful to my grandparents’ and my parents’ original vision to publish gospel-centered literature over the past eighty-one years—a vision that has expanded in remarkable ways through the publication of hundreds of authors and the ESV Bible. In order to carry that vision forward into the next generation,” Josh continued, “we must remain focused on our ministry calling—in the words of our mission statement, helping people ‘understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God alone.’ Crossway’s continued faithfulness to that calling is my greatest hope and prayer for the future.”
Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at crossway.org/about.