Augsburg Fortress
One Mission Blog - reflections on the ministry of publishing

AF Factoids for Teaching Theologians and Sr. Pastors

August 16th, 2008 by Beth A. Lewis

Last week, I attended the ELCA teaching theologians and Senior Pastors of large ELCA congregations gathering held at Central Lutheran Church a few blocks away from our Minneapolis office. I was given two minutes to bring a greeting to them. Since a standard “it’s nice to be with you” greeting seemed pretty boring to me, I decided to do a fast-paced “six things about your ministry of publishing that I’ll bet that you don’t know” greeting. Based on the number of attendees who asked me for more information about specific factoids later in the meeting, I think that this was a good presentation format. It’s hard to get much across in 2 minutes!

I thought that some others might find these factoids of interest, too, so I’m posting them here:

1. Did you know that Augsburg Fortress donates 600 copies of Fortress Press books to ELCA seminary libraries each & every year? Value: Approximately $15,000 per year

2. Did you know that since April, we have given away 24,000 copies of Opening the Book of Faith via synod assemblies, the senior pastors of large congregations and to ELCA seminary students to help launch the Book of Faith initiative? Value: Approximately $240,000

3. Did you know that the prices for our textbooks are an average of 20% lower than those of other major religion & theology textbook publishers?

4. Did you know that approximately 30% of Fortress Press books are written by Lutheran authors. But, less than 3% of Fortress Press textbook sales are from ELCA institutions of higher education & congregations?

5. Did you know that AF is the number 1 denominational publisher in terms of the development of digital resources? We have 4 major web-based subscription resources, 2 major free web-based resources, 570 resources available as downloadable items off of our website, 400 POD (print on demand) books, 800+ titles available for Amazon’s Kindle e-book, and 1500 titles available through Google Book Search.

6. Did you know that starting this fall, we are providing free educational use access to our web-based resources to all students and faculty at the 8 ELCA seminaries. Value: In excess of $2.1 million per year!

As the ministry of publishing for the ELCA and serving the larger Christian community, Augsburg Fortress is proud to partner with various groups in this church in these and other ways. However, since we receive no funding for this ministry of the church, we rely on the congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges and individuals who care about our work to be intentional in supporting us. What does this mean? (asked Martin Luther)…it means that we need leaders who care about this ministry of this church to always look to Augsburg Fortress for resources for their ministries. And, when we are competitive in terms of quality, price and service (and only when we are competitive) to be intentional about purchasing from us. Any profits we make through the sale of our high quality resources are re-invested back into the development of future resources for the church. That is the reason we use this tag line: One mission. One future. Together.

Thank you to the ELCA teaching theologians and senior pastors for their warm welcome last week!

Blessings to you all,



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Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress
  • Cool post Beth! Ok, you’ve got my attention, what are the two free Web-based resources? I know and appreciate the Creative Worship Tour Ning site. Is that one? What’s the second one?

    Thanks, Paul

  • Beth A. Lewis

    Not only is a very cool site with an active social networking, open source community, but now we have added another! Check out It just went up on Friday and already has over 250 members! I’ll look forward to seeing you there, Paul! Blessings, Beth

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