About Us

The Christian Century is a progressive, independent religious magazine devoted to helping people think critically and live the Christian faith thoughtfully. Known for its excellent essays and poetry, incisive reporting and commentary, and prominent writers contributing from various fields, the Century is a leading voice helping readers make sense of faith, culture, and politics in our time. Founded in 1884 as a small denominational publication, the Christian Oracle, the magazine assumed its current name in 1900 as its editorial interests broadened and its ecumenical reach expanded. The choice of the Christian Century name reflected the prevailing mood of early 20th century US Protestantism—namely, one of triumphal optimism regarding Christianity’s influence on society. Today, the Century situates itself in a pluralistic context in which its voice of generous orthodoxy and its openness to church and world alike are prized. Notable contributors in the early decades included Jane Addams and Reinhold Niebuhr. In 1963, the Century was the first major periodical to publish the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In the 1950s and ’60s, King served as a Century editor-at-large. The Century continues to inform and shape American Christianity. Along with its print and digital editions and its growing social media presence, the magazine produces a podcast, an annual lecture in Chicago, and periodic events of public interest. The Century is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations from readers and friends. Advertising and subscription revenue cover only a portion of administrative and production expenses. Gifts of financial support remain crucial to the Century’s operation and growth.