Inter-Varsity Press

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Inter-Varsity Press
Inter-Varsity Press Logo from 2018.png
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Key peopleAndrew Fergusson, Chair of Trustees [1] Stephen Mitchell, Director of Publishing [1]
Publication typesBooks, DVDs and other media[2]
Nonfiction topicsBible commentaries, Christian life (evangelical), theology
ImprintsApollos, Crossway, Tyndale
No. of employeesc.20[1]

Inter-Varsity Press (IVP) was previously the publishing wing of Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship. It support the publishing or distribution of well over one million books each year to over 150 countries, including the translation of titles into over 90 different languages. Following a UCCF-wide strategic review in 2005, IVP was divested. It was intended that this would reduce the financial burden on UCCF.[1] By 2015, IVP was nearly insolvent. The trustees transferred its assets and liabilities to religious publisher SPCK, with an agreement to use the imprint for evangelical Christian publishing.



In 1877, the Cambridge Inter-collegiate Christian Union was created to encourage evangelical faith, and four years later, a sister organisation, the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union was founded. In 1919, members of these two unions gathered in London during an annual 'Inter-Varsity' sporting match. They decided to meet again and to encourage the formation of unions at other universities. By 1928, the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical Unions was officially formed, consisting of 13 groups. Its first publication was a booklet entitled, IVF: A Brief History of the IVF.

The 20th Century[edit]

The IVF began publishing Christian books since the 1930s (originally books were published under the name Inter-Varsity Fellowship - IVF). In 1936, Douglas Johnson, the general secretary of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship took on Ronald Inchley as the IVF's Publication Secretary. Ronald had freshly graduated from Birmingham University in 1936 and had no prior experience of publishing. He inherited a list of twenty titles, mostly booklets, which had already begun to appear.

With Ronald Inchley's appointment came the opportunity to publish larger books such as T.C. Hammond's In Understanding Be Men.

Inchley was not immediately successful. In 1937, the IVF imprint made a significant financial loss, and in 1938 was nearly bankrupt. The Literary Committee considered appointing Hodder and Stoughton as official publishers to the IVF until a last minute decision was made to free Inchley from other duties so that he could focus more on publishing. Inchley remained in his post, apart from an interlude for war service, until 1976.[3] He died on 13 April 2005 (aged 93).

Following the IVF's wartime closure, the press re-emerged and a steady growth ensued. Ruth Bolton was appointed as Editorial Assistant in 1948 and in 1949, the press appointed its first Sales Manager, Eddie Bradley-Feary. During the early years of IVF, books were distributed from the small wine cellar that lay below IVF's offices at 39 Bedford Square, London. Outgrowing this space, an empty water supply tank, built on a bombed site behind IVF's offices, became home to two new units. The early 1960s saw these temporary buildings pulled down and replaced by a four-storey office block and basement, used by IVF until it outgrew this space and transferred despatching opportunities to Scripture Union.

In 1968, the IVF was rebranded, resulting in the name Inter-Varsity Press which we know today.

In 1974, IVP resumed operations from its new warehouse and Book Centre in Nottingham.

In 1976, Inchley was succeeded as Publishing Director by the Revd Frank Entwistle,[4] who had joined IVP in 1973 and remained there until his retirement in 2002.[5] By this time, IVP was publishing seminal works such as the Bible Speaks Today expositions and the Tyndale Commentary series.

IVP had also moved again, with UCCF, to Leicester. The UCCF offices housed the IVP office staff for some 29 years. Throughout this time, IVP operated as a trading subsidiary of Inter-Varsity Fellowship Trust Limited.[6]

The 21st Century[edit]

Following a strategic review of UCCF in 2005, IVP was constituted as a separate Nottingham-based company[7] and charity[8] in its own right. This afforded IVP the organisational independence needed to increase its focus on developing its publishing ministry further.

The IVP team - office and operations - worked to fulfil this mission from the Book Centre in Nottingham.

In 2015 the press verged on insolvency and was taken over by SPCK.[9] It is now a subsidiary charity of SPCK, although the entities remain distinct. The IVP imprint continues to publish and distribute Christian literature worldwide, with a distinct conservative evangelical ethos guaranteed by their continued adherence to the UCCF Doctrinal Basis. IVP continues to have its own editorial board and board of trustees, thereby guaranteeing it maintains its "conservative evangelical brand" whilst benefiting from "SPCK's finance, IT and infrastructure".[9]


  • Apollos – academic titles
  • Crossway Classic Commentaries and Bible Guides
  • Tyndale Bible Commentaries


  1. ^ a b c d "About IVP". Nottingham, United Kingdom: Inter-Varsity Press. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b George Ian Russell (12 December 2011). "Summary Information Return 2011 for Inter-Varsity Press" (PDF). London, United Kingdom: Charity Commission. Retrieved 6 April 2012. The objectives of the charity are the advancement of the evangelical Christian Faith among students, graduates, other former students and members of the growing worldwide Church. The charity achieves this through publishing books, and other materials, which are true to the Bible and which will communicate the gospel, develop discipleship and strengthen the Church for its mission in the world.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ The Rev'd Frank Entwistle (June 2005). "Obituary - Ronald Inchley, Christian publisher, 1912-2005". Evangelicals Now. Thornton Heath. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  4. ^ Le Peau, Andrew T; Doll, Linda (2006). Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength: An Anecdotal History of InterVarsity Press, 1947-2007. Westmont, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. p. 128. ISBN 0-8308-3369-2.
  5. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 2004/05 (Ninety-eighth ed.). London, United Kingdom: Church House Publishing. 2004 [1858]. p. 243. ISBN 0-7151-8129-7.
  6. ^ "Company No. 00387932". Cardiff, United Kingdom: Companies House. 8 May 1986. Retrieved 6 April 2012. Incorporated 1 June 1944, Change of Name 8 May 1986 to Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship Trust, Change of name 18 November 2004 to Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship
  7. ^ "Company details for Inter-Varsity Press, Company No. 05202650". Cardiff, United Kingdom: Companies House. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Overview for Registered Charity 1105757 - Inter-Varsity Press". London, United Kingdom: Charity Commission. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b "SPCK moves to secure future of IVP | The Bookseller". Retrieved 15 March 2019.

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