Recently an article appeared in the American Family Association Journal about New Leaf Publishing Group and its president, Tim Dudley as well as their vice president of sales and marketing, Randy Pratt. This article shares their commitment to God’s Word and to teaching young people truth “to move people toward Christ.” I encourage you to read it and consider their resources for your homeschool or Christian school needs.
Publishing Business Founded on Family, Faith
by Randall Murphree
March 2017–When Tim Dudley sits down at the table, he is comfortably intent. Not intense, just intent. Pleasant and hospitable, but fully focused on the task at hand. That discipline has served him well as president of New Leaf Publishing Group since 1991, hardly a year before his father’s death.
“My father, Cliff Dudley, founded New Leaf Press in 1975,” he told AFA Journal. The elder Dudley had been in Christian publishing for several years and believed it was time to strike out on his own. And strike out he did, leaving Chicago and finally settling in Green Forest (population 2,717) in the rolling hills of northwestern Arkansas.
“Dad had a very strong belief in the power of the printed page to move people toward Christ,” Dudley said, “so the mission statement of New Leaf has always been ‘Bring the Lost to Christ and Balance to the Body of Christ’—or ‘Ink on Paper to Touch Eternity.’”
The mid-size Christian book publisher has become especially noted for its God-honoring and creationist curriculum materials that are highly regarded by homeschoolers. The Children’s Atlas of God’s World is one stellar example of the supplementary teaching resources published under NLPG’s Master Books imprint. . . .
“Master Books is all about growing biblical faith in students,” said Randy Pratt, NLPG vice president for sales and marketing. “If your student’s faith doesn’t grow, you get your money back. But we get parental feedback saying, ‘We’re growing, too.’”
In addition to marketing, Pratt is regularly involved with content for curriculum materials, making sure the biblical worldview is never compromised. The latter role is one for which he is highly qualified, having served as principal at a Christian school.
He and his wife Kristen—parents of nine, grandparents of three, and 20-year homeschoolers—sold a family business in 2010 to serve in pastoral ministry. In 2015, they moved from Buffalo, New York, to work at NLPG.
“Kids today don’t go to the same public schools their parents and grandparents went to,” Pratt said. He believes most of the charges against homeschooling—little socialization, lower academic levels, etc.—are unfounded.
He strives for excellence and searches for more effective approaches to make sure that curriculum content uplifts creationism, enhances parent/teacher discernment, and teaches critical thinking skills.
“Another big thing that makes our curriculum work,” he said, “is that it’s easy to implement.” The Master Books model exemplifies that principle. Each student book and accompanying teacher’s guide comes in three-ring binder format. The teacher’s guide includes daily lesson plans, and student activities have strong ties that reinforce content.
“Many people ask me the secret to our growth,” Dudley reflected. “My answer is always the same: the prayers of a mother. My mom remains a very strong and guiding force in the ministry of New Leaf Publishing, and a third generation of our family is now helping continue the tradition.”
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.