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NRSV and RSV rights licensing transition

National Council of Churches in Christ of the USA has hired Riggins International
Rights Service
to manage the rights of the RSV and NRSV translation

News contact: Steven D. Martin: 202.412.4323 or

Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), announces that Riggins International Rights Services will assume responsibility for domestic and international rights management of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translations of the Bible effective July 1, 2015. The NCC owns the copyright to the RSV and NRSV translations. 

Riggins International Rights Services (RIRS) serves as the rights department for several inspirational publishers. Their team has over 40 years’ experience with religious publishing rights management. 

“After an intense and rigorous period of discernment, we are confident that Riggins International is the right fit for the NCC at this time in our history and in our work with the RSV/NRSV,” Winkler said. 

Riggins International will handle licenses for complete editions of the RSV and NRSV, as well as all permissions for the use of excerpts from the translations. Inquiries regarding use of the RSV and NRSV now can be directed to RIRS at: 


Previously, RSV/NRSV rights administration work that had been managed by other agents including work conducted by Rachel Riensche since 2004. The Rev. Dr. Roy Medley, Chairman of the NCC Governing Board stated, “Rachel has shown extraordinary commitment to the NCC as RSV/NRSV copyright administrator. We are thankful for her dedicated service over many years.” 

According to Winkler, “Rachel helped hold things together for the NCC during some lean years. She worked sacrificially to handle licenses and rights related to the RSV/NRSV because she believes in the work of the NCC and its bible ministry.” 

Part of Rachel’s services included work with the Bible, Translation, and Utilization (BTU) Advisory Committee of the NCC. Rev. Dr. Kent H. Richards, BTU Chair, commented that “Rachel has been a faithful voice for the tradition of excellence in English Bible translation as she has provided leadership in the rights management for the RSV and NRSV for an important part of its history. 

In the history of translations, the RSV and NRSV have a prominent place in the tradition of English Bible translation dating back to the King James Authorized Version of the Bible. The RSV was first published in 1952, and the NRSV first appeared in publication in 1989. These translations represent reliable and trustworthy translations of Christian scriptures to individuals, churches, and the academic community globally. 

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC’s 37 member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.