Stand to Reason / STR / Greg Koukl

Summary

Stand to Reason's (STR) trains Christians to think clearly and make a defense of the doctrines and ethics of classical Christianity, in an intellectually fair, gracious and incisive manner in what is considered the public square of society. STR's focuses on the basics, the fundamentals of theology and ethics, and the fundamental tools of thought. This distinguishes them from other organizations. For example, the Christian Research Institute (CRI) is a place to get information. Though STR does give information, it is the place to get educated. They teach not just what to think, but how to think. STR is not that unique in the information they give, but in the way they use the information. STR teaches the value of using our minds to love God and share the Gospel. STR teaches careful reasoning and well thought-out answers so that Christians will participate in public discussion (at home, at work, or at the university) so that the Christian worldview has a place in the debate. The organization encourages Christians to develop coherent answers to questions that challenge Christianity so that their faith is deepened and thereby are emboldened to share the Gospel. STR is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Contact information

Mailing address:
1438 E 33rd St.
Signal Hill, CA 90755-0755

Website: www.str.org

Phone: (800) 273-2766

Email: standtoreason@str.org


Organization details

EIN: 330604522

CEO/President: Mr. Gregory Koukl

Chairman: Mr. Johnny Nguyen

Board size: 6

Founder: Greg Koukl & Melinda Penner

Year founded: 1993

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Purpose

Stand to Reason's (STR) trains Christians to think clearly and make a defense of the doctrines and ethics of classical Christianity, in an intellectually fair, gracious and incisive manner in what is considered the public square of society.

STR's focuses on the basics, the fundamentals of theology and ethics, and the fundamental tools of thought. This distinguishes them from other organizations. For example, the Christian Research Institute (CRI) is a place to get information. Though STR does give information, it is the place to get educated. They teach not just what to think, but how to think. STR is not that unique in the information they give, but in the way they use the information.

STR teaches the value of using our minds to love God and share the Gospel. STR teaches careful reasoning and well thought-out answers so that Christians will participate in public discussion (at home, at work, or at the university) so that the Christian worldview has a place in the debate. The organization encourages Christians to develop coherent answers to questions that challenge Christianity so that their faith is deepened and thereby are emboldened to share the Gospel.

STR is involved in six broad areas of ministry:

Radio
A cornerstone of Stand to Reason is a radio broadcast offering an open public forum on ethics, values and religion. The show is a place where intellectually rigorous Christianity is put to the test publicly, an incarnational approach where methods of advocacy--the content, tactics, posture, attitude, and delivery--have flesh and blood and bones attached to them. The radio show is vital for promotion of the vision and goals of STR.

Public Speaking and Seminars
Stand to Reason offers courses, seminars, and colloquia geared towards helping followers of Christ in the local church. They teach them to apply careful Christian thinking to popular ethical and theological issues.

Their goal is to give believers the practical tools they need to make a difference in their world, giving them both the knowledge and the confidence to be players again in the world of ideas. Sometimes they will network creatively with other organizations to share curriculum, speakers and expertise.

They also field a growing number of speakers that represent STR at individual functions where their materials can be displayed. They focus on using the most careful, thoughtful, accomplished, and skilled communicators.

Website
Visitors to their website discover a variety of stimulating opportunities to be trained as Christian ambassadors. Visitors can:

  • Download hundreds of free STR reports, commentaries, and articles
  • Listen to their radio shows or have them delivered directly to them by podcast
  • Purchase STR training materials as well as significant books in the field
  • Read their daily blog and interact with others on the ideas
  • Subscribe to Solid Ground, their bi-monthly newsletter
  • Download other's articles they have posted on their site
  • Jump to other relevant websites
Self-Directed Training Curriculum
They take an "all-you-need" approach to curriculum. Any given training tape or series gives the most critical information one needs to master the really important material, giving fair-minded arguments based on sound thinking and well-researched facts. Curriculum consists of CDs for individual instruction and DVDs for individuals and groups (churches, home schools, Sunday school classes, outposts, etc.), along with notes or course syllabi.

The CDs and outlines enable the Christian to write a report, teach a class, give a lecture, do a debate, write a letter to the editor, call a radio talk show, or simply defend the truth. The material is adequate for a high school speech or an afternoon on a TV talk show.

Publications Their publications offer in print what their public presentations do in person. This includes in-house publications, like their bi-monthly publication Solid Ground and their monthly ministry letters, as well as books published by major publishing houses. They also have their own articles republished in magazines and journals.

Mission statement

Stand to Reason uses the following to express its mission:

Stand to Reason trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, incisive, yet gracious defense for classical Christianity and classical Christian values in the public square.


Statement of faith

Stand to Reason uses the following to express its Statement of Faith:

  1. The Bible, consisting of all the books of the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God, a supernaturally given revelation from God Himself, concerning Himself, His being, nature, character, will and purposes; and concerning man, his nature, need and duty and destiny. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind in the autographs.
  2. There is one God, eternally existing and manifesting Himself to us in three Persons-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. Our Lord Jesus was supernaturally conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary, a lineal descendant of David. He lived and taught and performed mighty works, wonders and signs exactly as recorded in the New Testament. He was put to death by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. God raised from the dead the body that had been nailed to the cross. The Lord Jesus, after His crucifixion, showed Himself to be alive to His disciples, appearing to them in the space of forty days. After this the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, and the Father made Him to be head over all things, including the Church.
  4. The Lord Jesus, before His incarnation, existed in the exact form of God, and of His own choice, laid aside His divine glory and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He is a divine person possessed of all the attributes of deity and should be worshipped as God by angels and men. "In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."
  5. By His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus made a perfect atonement for sin, by which the wrath of God against sinners is appeased and a ground furnished upon which God can deal in mercy with sinners. He redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse in our place. He Who Himself was absolutely without sin was made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  6. The Lord Jesus is coming again to this earth, personally, bodily and visibly.
  7. The Holy Spirit is a person distinct from the Father and the Son, and possesses all of the divine attributes. He is God.
  8. Man was created in the image of God, after his likeness, and therefore has transcendent, intrinsic worth. The whole human race fell in the fall of the first Adam. All men, apart from spiritual regeneration, are lost, darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, hardened in heart, morally and spiritually dead through their trespasses and sins. They cannot see nor enter the Kingdom of God until they are born again of the Holy Spirit.
  9. Men are justified on the simple and single ground of the shed blood of Christ and upon the simple and single condition of faith in Him Who shed His blood, and are born again by the quickening, renewing, cleansing work of the Holy Spirit, through the instrumentality of the Word of God. These alone become children of God and receive eternal life. At death their spirits depart to be with Christ in conscious blessedness, and at the second coming of Christ their bodies shall be raised, transformed into the likeness of the body of His glory.
  10. All those who persistently reject Jesus Christ in the present life shall be raised from the dead and throughout eternity exist in a state of conscious, endless torment and anguish.
  11. The Church consists of the host of the regenerate, wherever they may be found. It is the body and bride of Christ which Christ loves and for which He has given Himself.
  12. There is a personal devil, a being of great cunning who can exert vast power only so far as God allows him to do so. He shall ultimately be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever.
  13. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life and to perform good works that are the necessary evidence of their genuine faith in Christ.

Transparency grade

D

To understand our transparency grade, click here.


Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating204 of 58618 of 56
Fund acquisition rating173 of 58620 of 56
Resource allocation rating398 of 58632 of 56
Asset utilization rating166 of 58614 of 56

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20182017201620152014
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
8%5%6%6%6%6%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%5%5%6%6%5%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
94%96%95%96%94%93%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%5%6%6%6%5%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
6%4%5%4%6%7%
 
Operating ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20182017201620152014
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
82%78%81%82%82%81%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
98%92%95%98%103%102%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
80%72%77%80%84%83%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
2%8%5%2%-3%-2%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
2%17%12%7%-8%-4%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
11%17%13%12%13%13%
 
Investing ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20182017201620152014
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
1.072.002.432.512.552.31
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.691.051.051.061.121.20
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
2.182.092.562.662.862.77
 
Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20182017201620152014
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
8.7927.6329.4020.2014.4022.55
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.110.040.030.050.070.04
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
4.715.524.534.293.904.15
 
Solvency ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20182017201620152014
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
10%3%3%5%7%6%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%0%0%0%0%0%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
75%48%40%38%36%41%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20182017201620152014
Cash$842,448$679,113$604,300$532,045$537,191
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$75,493$75,919$67,192$54,666$46,656
Short-term investments$0$0$0$20,337$2,032
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$917,941$755,032$671,492$607,048$585,879
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$44,437$40,594$41,081$58,638$65,235
Other long-term assets$0$0$465$14,703$51,853
Total long-term assets$44,437$40,594$41,546$73,341$117,088
Total assets$962,378$795,626$713,038$680,389$702,967
 
Liabilities20182017201620152014
Payables and accrued expenses$33,223$25,681$33,242$42,153$25,986
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$33,223$25,681$33,242$42,153$25,986
Debt$0$0$0$0$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$5,219$8,731$13,895
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$5,219$8,731$13,895
Total liabilities$33,223$25,681$38,461$50,884$39,881
 
Net assets20182017201620152014
Unrestricted$822,853$673,115$615,826$562,595$594,507
Temporarily restricted$106,302$96,830$58,751$66,910$86,870
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$929,155$769,945$674,577$629,505$663,086
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20182017201620152014
Total contributions$1,989,934$1,936,215$1,752,004$1,588,704$1,484,215
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$4,620($980)$920($1,142)$346
Other revenue$86,410$93,374$78,796$97,984$106,318
Total other revenue$91,030$92,394$79,716$96,842$106,664
Total revenue$2,080,964$2,028,609$1,831,720$1,685,546$1,590,879
 
Expenses20182017201620152014
Program services$1,493,328$1,563,419$1,458,632$1,423,787$1,318,170
Management and general$327,843$259,265$219,474$217,627$216,083
Fundraising$100,583$110,557$108,542$95,734$86,297
Total expenses$1,921,754$1,933,241$1,786,648$1,737,148$1,620,550
 
Change in net assets20182017201620152014
Surplus (deficit)$159,210$95,368$45,072($51,602)($29,671)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$159,210$95,368$45,072($51,602)($29,671)

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


History

Stand to Reason was founded by Greg Koukl in 1993.

Greg Koukl had been a teaching pastor at Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach for several years and had begun broadcasting on KBRT radio in 1990. Greg had demonstrated a rich gift in teaching and education as he directed the adult education program at Hope Chapel.

In January of 1993, Greg was invited to teach at the Hindustan Bible Institute in India. Bobby Gupta, the visionary leader of that ministry, challenged Greg on that trip to expand his teaching opportunities by starting his own organization. When Bobby visited the U.S. in March of that year, he adamantly repeated his challenge to Greg over breakfast. Greg knew immediately he wanted to name the organization Stand to Reason. He presented the idea of STR to a group of people who'd been part of the prayer support for Greg's radio work on May 1 asking them two things: First, was this a good idea. Second, if it was a good idea, would they support it financially for a year? The response was enthusiastic and overwhelming. These people represented the "Founders" who gave their support to this new venture.

STR started at an extra desk in a crowded office at Hope Chapel. A year later, Greg left the staff of Hope Chapel to work fulltime for STR, and Melinda left teaching to join the staff of two, plus many volunteers who helped get STR going.

STR moved to larger free lodging at First Baptist in Lomita, CA in 1997. Scott Klusendorf joined the staff of STR in October 1997 as our second speaker focusing on bio-ethics. STR moved to its first real office space early in 2001, its current location. Scott has since started his own organization, Life Training Institute, and three other speakers have joined the staff to expand the work of STR: Steve Wagner, Brett Kunkle, and Alan Shlemon. STR's support staff has grown to five part-time and three full-time employees now, plus the volunteers that continue to help STR in vital ways.

STR's speakers teach hundreds of times each year all of the U.S., Canada, and globally. Greg continues to do the weekly call-in radio program. And STR's website has become a critical aspect of its work, providing training to over 100,000 visitors each month.


Program accomplishments

In 2011, Stand to Reason pursued its mission to equip Christian ambassadors. Some benchmarks of that activity include:

  • 940,956 training pieces mailed or emailed
  • 21,551 CDs and MP3s distributed
  • 10,889,298 articles viewed on the website
  • 3,140,014 visits to the website
  • 380,389 podcasts downloaded
  • 52 radio broadcasts
  • 1,123 visits per day to the blog on average
  • 311 speaking events by Greg, Brett, and Alan

Needs

Stand to Reason has communicated the following needs:

  • Pray for STR's people and projects
  • Purchase resources from the STR store
  • Contribute financially
  • Volunteer your talents