The General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approved a strategic plan and budget which will lead CMP towards self-sustainability of English language resources. Congregational Ministries Publishing will continue to be an office of the GAMC under the program area of Theology, Worship and Education, but will now operate within a business model in which the sale of resources will cover expenses for English language material.

Starting in 2011, CMP will no longer receive unrestricted funds from the General Assembly Mission Council to cover any budget shortfalls. This move is not being taken lightly and requires changes to the embedded budgeting process within GAMC, and significant changes in human resources. According to Joseph D. Small, Director of Theology, Worship and Education – and Publisher of Congregational Ministries Publishing, “this strategic plan set by CMP has required substantial discernment from the leadership team. It will significantly change the shape of the publishing program in order to ensure that faithful, quality educational resources are available to the church.”

These moves are not without precedent within the publishing history of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, the sister publishing entity of CMP was required to make similar strategic changes in 1994 as it moved to becoming a self-sustaining entity of PC(USA).

A comprehensive independent review of CMP operations was conducted last fall and confirmed internal reports that these steps were necessary to enable CMP to operate on a cost-recovery model. The independent review highlighted several areas in which CMP was operating with staff levels well in excess of the industry standards.

This resulted in CMP saying good-bye to many long-time colleagues and friends whose work and dedication was integral to the success of the newly revised, denominational curriculum, We Believe: God’s Word for God’s People. Mark Hinds, General Editor for Congregational Ministries Publishing stated, “We were in the proverbial rock and hard place. The decision to re-configure our business model, while necessary, is personally devastating! CMP staff members have been like family to me. This is a sad time!”

Ultimately the goal for CMP is to become a thriving publishing unit that makes a significant contribution to the ministry of building disciples of all ages for the greater good of the whole. Congregational Ministries Publishing remains committed to our mandate to provide quality educational resources for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a responsive, responsible manner.