History of Standard Publishing

Isaac Errett

Isaac Errett


James Garfield

Christian Standard 1918

1918 Issue

Christian Standard 1933

1933 Issue

Inside Standard Publishing, Part of the David C Cook Family

For more than 150 years, Standard Publishing has been serving the Christian community with products that have one purpose: bringing the Bible to life! Whether you are educating children, teens, or adults, you will find that our curriculum is true to the Bible—a promise we have kept for more than a century. Our curriculum lines feature proven resources that engage teachers and students with age-appropriate Bible teaching, activities, and discussions.

In December 2015, Standard Publishing became part of the David C Cook family. As part of a ministry where the missions align, the Standard Publishing lines continue to flourish. Our David C Cook family mission is “to equip the Church with Christ-centered resources for making and teaching disciples who obediently transform today’s generations.” Now, as part of this family, the key Standard Publishing lines—HeartShaper®, Standard Lesson Quarterly®, and Standard Lesson Commentary®—will continue to thrive on Standard Publishing’s foundation and statement of faith.

It is our pleasure to serve you and your church community. If you have any questions, please call us at 800.323.7543.

Our Roots

Standard Publishing’s rich heritage has its roots with a group of physicians, attorneys, educators, preachers, and James A. Garfield, who would later become the twentieth president of the United States.

In December 1865, this group met at the home of T. W. Phillips, a noted businessman and philanthropist in New Castle, Pennsylvania. They met to consider launching a journal that would be “devoted to New Testament Christianity.”

The group organized a publishing association, funded it with $20,000 in capital, and named the journal Christian Standard. Isaac Errett of Detroit, Michigan, was named the first editor.

The first issue came off the press dated April 7, 1866. After a year, funds were exhausted, and the founders wanted to shut the business down. Errett wasn’t ready to give up though. So the original investors gave him the journal—and all its debts!

Errett continued as editor, even as he became president of a new college in Alliance, Ohio, in 1868. Soon the situation began to improve:

  • In 1869, he partnered with R. W. Carroll, a printer and publisher, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • In 1872, Standard Publishing was formed.
  • Readership grew, and in three years the company was incorporated. Shortly thereafter, Errett and his son Russell purchased Carroll’s shares and became sole owners.

The new company became a leading publisher of church resources:

  • After formation of the International Sunday-School Lessons by the American Sunday School Union, the first Uniform Lessons appeared in Christian Standard in 1873. Standard Publishing pioneered Sunday school materials for all ages. Examples of age-appropriate journals included Sunday School Standard, Boy’s Life, and Girlhood Days.
  • Young People’s Standard was created to serve the Christian Endeavor movement, founded in 1888.
  • In 1923 Standard Publishing became the first publisher of Vacation Bible School (VBS) materials with a five-week, all-day program.
  • In 1955 the Errett family sold the business to John Bolten Sr. Bolten eventually made the company a publicly owned corporation. In late 1964 it started selling stock to the public through the New York Stock Exchange.
  • A new chapter in Standard Publishing’s history began in July 2006, when the Wicks Group, a New York-based private equity firm, acquired Standard Publishing. With Standard Publishing as the platform company, the business was poised to grow both organically and through acquisition.
  • In December 2015, Standard Publishing became part of the David C Cook family, in order to continue to serve churches with solid Biblical content and curriculum for transforming lives together.

Our Mission we provide true-to-the-Bible resources that inspire, educate, and motivate people to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Standard Publishing Statement of Faith

At Standard Publishing we provide true-to-the-Bible resources that inspire, educate, and motivate people to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe the Old and New Testaments comprise the infallible, divinely inspired Word of God. Therefore, we consider the entire Bible to be our statement of faith, and we seek to understand and apply its message.

  • We believe the Bible’s accounts of the creation, the deity of Jesus, the virgin birth, miracles, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the reality of Heaven and Hell, and the return of Jesus.
  • We believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only Son of the living God.
  • We believe the Holy Spirit works in conversion and indwells all believers, empowering them to please God with their lives.
  • We believe in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ for all sin, and salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
  • We believe this salvation is a free gift from God that no one deserves or can earn.
  • We believe in the one church described in the New Testament, under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and we seek to be one in him with all others he calls his own.
  • We believe the mission of the church was given by Jesus; that is, to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he commanded.

Transforming Lives Together

David C Cook is a nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing and distributing leadership and discipleship resources to help Christians all over the world grow in their faith and pass it on to the next generation.

As a ministry, we do more than just publish and distribute Christian resources. We partner with indigenous organizations to equip pastors, lay leaders, and Sunday school teachers with our materials in places like India, China, and Cuba. When you buy resources from David C Cook, the proceeds from each sale are used to fund a global initiative to provide ministry resources to local churches in more than 50 countries and 30 languages. So on behalf of those churches, thank you for choosing David C Cook as a trusted partner in ministry.

Learn more about David C Cook’s mission, values, and vision!

Our Core Values



in all our actions and relationships

  • We keep our promises.
  • We seek quick and direct resolution of conflicts.
  • We keep problems issue-oriented, not personal.



in pursuit of our mission

  • We pursue effectiveness and efficiency in all areas.
  • We learn from our successes and mistakes.
  • We are passionate about extending our ministry.



as our motivation

  • We identify and meet the needs of church leaders and growing Christians.
  • We know our customers and understand how our work impacts them.
  • We demonstrate a servant’s heart in all our relationships.



of the talents, resources, and responsibilities

  • We know what is expected of us and perform to those expectations.
  • We commit our resources to achieving our mission.
  • We encourage personal growth and continuous learning.



that celebrates achievement together

  • We value each person regardless of his or her specific role.
  • We value the success of our mission more than our own self-interests.
  • We are accountable to each other as partners in a common mission.