Parent company HarperCollins
Founded 1931
Founder Peter Zondervan and Bernard Zondervan
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Grand Rapids, Michigan
Publication types Books
Imprints Zonderkidz
Official website zondervan.com

Zondervan is an international Christian media and publishing company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan is a founding member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).



Zondervan was founded in 1931 in Grandville, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids, by brothers Peter (P.J., Pat) and Bernard (Bernie) Zondervan, who were the nephews of publisher William B. Eerdmans. The company began in the Zondervans' farmhouse and originally dealt with selling remainders and publishing public domain works. The first book it published was Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, in 1933.[1] Within a few years it developed a list of its own, and began publishing Bible editions. The Berkeley Version appeared in 1959, and the Amplified Bible in 1965. The NIV New Testament was published in partnership with the International Bible Society in 1973, and the complete NIV Bible appeared in 1978.[2] The company was bought by HarperCollins, a division of News Corporation, in 1988, and is the company's Christian book publishing division. Scott Macdonald was appointed President and CEO in May 2011.

Zondervan also publishes many other books by Christian authors focusing on topics of interest to Christians In the 1970s it published The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, which has sold more than 30 million copies. They are also known for the Bible storytelling books of Ethel Barrett, Joni by quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada, Baptist minister and author Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold more than 35 million copies, and Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis and presenter of NOOMA. NOOMA is a series of short spiritual films. In 2004, Zondervan expanded to include Renee Altson, Shane Claiborne, Sarah Raymond Cunningham and Margaret Feinberg, authors writing for young readers.[3]

Recording Business

Zondervan was in the Christian record business for many years with the Singspiration and Zondervan Victory labels in the 1960s, Singcord in the 70s, and the Milk & Honey Records label in the 1980s.[4]

In 1980, Zondervan and Paragon Associates bought Christian record label Benson Records in a partnership to own and operate for $3 Million.[5] The resulting company was (measured by sales) one and a half times the size of its closest competitor, Word.[5] Zondervan bought out Paragon in 1983, and eventually sold Benson to Zomba Label Group in 1993, now a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.[6]


Pradis was the trademarked name for Zondervan's native format for biblical software. On 22 September 2009, Logos Research Systems, Inc,[7] and Zondervan announced a new partnership, and the retirement of Pradis.[8] Thirty-one titles were slated for availability in "early 2010" in the LOGOS Bible Software format.[9]

One key Pradis feature was customizable panes to efficiently divide the workspace into major areas, with a system of tabs within the panes to access many open books simultaneously without losing open books behind other windows, as is common with other systems. Pradis offered the ability to link works together by biblical references, but without providing topical linking between works. Advanced tools for original languages were available, as were additional commentaries and dictionaries, though the list of available offerings dwindled significantly before the termination of the line was announced.

Zondervan offered Pradis for license to other publishers, but response flagged. Now customers and publisher alike stand to benefit from greater compatibility.


  1. ^ Zondervan History
  2. ^ James Ruark and Ted Engstrom, The House of Zondervan, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981.
  3. ^ Zondervan Press Release
  4. ^ Zondervan, Singspiration, Singcord, Milk & Honey
  5. ^ a b "Zondervan-Paragon Pact Carved Out New Benson Co.". CCM Magazine 3 (4): 32. October 1980. ISSN 1524-7848. 
  6. ^ Benson Music
  7. ^ Logos.com
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Zondervan.com

External links

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