Staff transitions at the Christian Century

Roles shift as longtime editor David Heim makes plans to retire
November 5, 2019
David Heim and Steve Thorngate. Photos by Dan Richardson.

The Christian Century’s editor in chief David Heim has announced that he will be retiring from the position on February 1, 2020. With Heim’s departure, associate editor Steve Thorn­gate will become managing editor. At the same time, publisher Peter Marty will become editor/publisher. Associate editor Amy Frykholm and books editor Eliza­beth Palmer will each take the title of senior editor.

Heim joined the magazine in 1985, became managing editor in 1988, executive editor in 1998, and editor in chief in 2018. He has written hundreds of signed and unsigned articles for the Century while overseeing the editing and production of the magazine.

“David’s dependably strong editorial eye has blessed several decades of readers with a magazine that is wise in substance and rich in style,” said Marty. “He’s a factory of productivity. I’ve al­ways been impressed by the high regard that members of the Century staff have for his guiding instincts and editorial judgment. He’s decisive but collaborative, deliberate but efficient.”

Steve Shorney, chair of the Christian Century board of trustees, which is managing the transition, said, “David’s leadership has been exemplary. His editorial instincts and professionalism have established the Century as the go-to journal for people who care about how religion intersects with daily life.”

Thorngate, who will oversee production and editorial matters as managing editor, joined the Century in 2008 after working at Sojourners and Utne Reader. He has led the development of the Century’s presence on the web and on social media while contributing to all parts of the magazine as a writer and editor.

“I’m excited by what Steve brings to the next chapter of the Christian Century,” said Marty. “He’s bright and incisive, a terrific writer and editor—one who cares so much for how the church makes sense of the world. Steve has the good fortune of being surrounded by a team of editors who all care about the same thing: giving our readers the very best in writing and religious thinking.”

Read an interview with David Heim.

A version of this article appears in the print edition under the title “Staff transitions at the Christian Century.”