Thursday, January 9, 2014


Jed Lyons,, 301-731-9538

Kathleen Cox,


Rowman & Littlefield of Lanham, MD and the Alban Institute of Herndon, VA announced this morning that Rowman & Littlefield has acquired the book program of the Alban Institute effective January 3, 2014. Founded in 1974, the Alban Institute is the country’s leading expert on congregational life and leadership issues. It operates as a consultant to individual church congregations, denominations, and church leaders and ministers primarily in the Protestant community of North America. It hosts training and education events around the country. Alban also publishes a quarterly magazine, Congregations, and weekly newsletter, Alban Weekly, neither of which are being sold. The book program, also begun in 1974, will become a part of Rowman & Littlefield’s Lanham, MD-based publishing group.

The sale includes approximately 270 active book titles, including many already in ebook formats. Annual sales are under one million dollars with a strong presence in online sales, sales to congregations, ministers and lay church leaders, seminaries, schools, and libraries. Rowman & Littlefield plans to increase the annual title output goal from around 10-12 to 25-30 new books under the combined Rowman & Littlefield and Alban imprint each year. Alban’s longtime Director of Publishing, Richard Bass, will join Rowman & Littlefield as a consulting editor. The program will continue to focus on church governance, leadership, and development. Alban’s many prominent authors include, Peter L. Steinke, Roy M. Oswald, Diana Butler Bass, N. Graham Standish, and the Institute’s founder, Loren B. Mead.

Jed Lyons, President and CEO of Rowman & Littlefield, commented, “The addition of the Alban program to Rowman & Littlefield’s religion publishing portfolio is an outgrowth of our history of acquiring respected imprints in the discipline and maintaining them as co-publishing partners”. Previous acquisitions include the respected Catholic imprint, Sheed & Ward, which has been active since its founding in the 1920’s and the publisher of books on Episcopalian subjects, Cowley Publishing. The company also bought Jason Aronson, a publisher of books on Judaica among other subjects.

“Alban books have been an important part of the congregational toolkit for many years,” Case Hoogendoorn, Alban’s Board Chair, said. “We are proud of the many fine books we have published over the years, and pleased that Rowman & Littlefield, one of the ten largest publishers in the country, will be able to support our books and authors in this changing time for publishing. I am confident that our books will be in good hands.”

Orders for Alban books will be handled by Rowman & Littlefield’s Blue Ridge Summit, PA distribution center effective February 1. Until then, orders and returns should continue to be directed to Alban’s longtime distributor, PBD, located in Alpharetta, GA.

Rowman & Littlefield, founded in 1949, is one of the largest independent book publishers in North America. It publishes 1,200 new books annually in the humanities and social sciences, elementary education, and reference. It also owns National Book Network (NBN) and NBNi in the U.K., both of which offer distribution services to other publishers.

The Alban Institute is a nonprofit, interfaith organization, founded in 1974 as a major resource for American congregations facing the challenges of a changing society. Alban’s mission is to provide clergy and lay leaders with practical ideas for effective ministry as they grapple with an ever-changing environment.