Scripture Union USA / SU


Scripture Union's vision and prayer for our ministry is to become a catalyst for a national network of after-school and summer programs for at-risk and/or un-churched children that are built on a relational, holistic evangelistic philosophy. This project is especially significant because it targets children outside the orbit of the church, at an age when research shows that they are most likely to respond to Christ. SU is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. It is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 215
Valley Forge, PA 19481-0215


Phone: (800) 621-5267


Organization details

EIN: 251228715

CEO/President: Gail Martin

Chairman: Gordon Haresign

Board size: 9


Year founded: 1959

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1980


The Need - Scripture Union recognizes the urgent need to reach the next generation with the reality of the Gospel and the truth of God's Word. We believe this is one of the most important mission fields facing the Christian community today.

  • There are 75 million children in the United States, 10 million of whom are considered "at-risk"
  • The majority have little or no understanding of God or the Bible.
  • Traditional forms of children's ministry (Sunday School and Vacation Bible School) are not reaching the greater percentage of children outside the church.
And yet, research shows that children are a strategic mission opportunity:
  • 85% of those who make a decision for Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14
  • After the age of 19, the spiritual identity of a person is largely set in place.
The Program - Scripture Union/USA has developed and implemented an after school-program called PrimeTime for at-risk children in the United States. Local churches and ministries work with SU regional staff to present the unique and effective Scripture Union curriculum and materials. This program is reinforced by our summer outreach program, SuperKids, offered in urban churches, housing projects and playgrounds. These programs are currently in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.

Mission statement

Scripture Union expresses its vision as follows:

Working as an extension of the Church, Scripture Union's mission is: a) to make God's Good News known to children, young people and their families; b) to encourage people of all ages to meet God daily through the Bible and prayer so that they may come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, grow in Christian maturity, become committed church members and serve a world in need.

Statement of faith

Scripture Union upholds the truths of Christianity as revealed by God in Holy Scripture including:

  1. The unity of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
  2. The sovereignty of God in creation, providence, revelation, redemption and final judgment.
  3. The divine inspiration and the entire trustworthiness and unity of Holy Scripture and its supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
  4. The sinfulness and guilt of all people since the Fall, rendering them subject to God's wrath and condemnation.
  5. Redemption from the guilt, penalty and power of sin solely through the sacrificial death, as our representative and substitute, of the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.
  6. The bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and His ascension to the right hand of God the Father.
  7. The necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit to make the death of Christ effective to the individual sinner, granting repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. The justification of the sinner by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone.
  9. The indwelling and work of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
  10. The one holy, universal Church, which is the Body of Christ, and to which all true believers belong.
  11. The expectation of the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Publishing

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating57 of 6601 of 10
Fund acquisition rating304 of 6625 of 10
Resource allocation rating17 of 6622 of 10
Asset utilization rating91 of 6602 of 10

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$93,847$102,934$301,718$266,728$538,990
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$481,013$547,617$739,940$496,501$782,550
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$6,617$14,284$26,887$85,159$118,327
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$6,617$14,284$26,887$85,159$118,327
Total assets$487,630$561,901$766,827$581,660$900,877
Payables and accrued expenses$60,848$70,657$134,130$256,464$339,875
Other current liabilities$3,480$54,151$16,863$30,685$3,220
Total current liabilities$64,328$124,808$150,993$287,149$343,095
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$200,000$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$200,000$0$0
Total liabilities$64,328$124,808$350,993$287,149$343,095
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$272,274$149,259$149,259$107,577$188,172
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$423,302$437,093$415,834$294,511$557,782
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,213,905$1,283,426$1,737,945$1,699,542$2,100,237
Program service revenue$164,947$190,490$202,188$263,193$208,698
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$1,051$572$119$0$128
Other revenue$21,036$22,370$38,924$49,128$25,161
Total other revenue$187,034$213,432$241,231$312,321$233,987
Total revenue$1,400,939$1,496,858$1,979,176$2,011,863$2,334,224
Program services$1,261,241$1,190,580$1,552,928$1,948,513$2,059,660
Management and general$62,351$115,596$140,510$147,008$154,390
Total expenses$1,466,652$1,475,599$1,857,853$2,275,134$2,389,632
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($65,713)$21,259$121,323($263,271)($55,408)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($65,713)$21,259$121,323($263,271)($55,408)

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


Scripture Union began in 1867 when a young Englishman named Josiah Spiers took the "radical" step of sharing the Good News with children on a beach. A few years later, a volunteer named Annie Marsten printed lists of Bible passages for the children to read after the beach missions. Soon, over 500,000 children around the world were reading the Bible in Scripture Union groups. From that small beginning, Scripture Union has expanded to 121 national movements worldwide, each with indigenous leadership and each with the same mission.

In the United States, Scripture Union began in 1959 and has developed a variety of evangelism and discipleship programs for children, youth, and families, as well as several Bible engagement programs and publications for all ages. These include:

The Essential 100 Challenge. A national Bible engagement program for individuals, youth groups, and churches based on a new way for reading through the Bible called The Essential 100.

The Essential Jesus Challenge. This new program, takes churches, individuals and groups through the storyline of Jesus Christ in 100 carefully selected readings from both the Old and New Testaments.

SuperKids. A program for creatively presenting the Good News and God's Word to un-churched children, anytime, anywhere.

PrimeTime. A Bible-based after-school program for at-risk children, especially in urban areas, developed in partnership with The Salvation Army.

SU/USA also publishes two quarterly Bible reading guides: Discovery and Encounter with God. Current circulation: 60,000.

Program accomplishments

The Barna Group, a nationally-recognized research organization, conducted a study in 2010-11.

Responses from Children and Youth after participating in a SuperKids program... 92% said all who believe in Jesus will have eternal life 90% felt more loved by God 81% learned more about God and Jesus 80% said they learned more about the Bible 74% said that they want to follow Jesus 68% said they want to go to church 66% said they learned how to stay out of trouble 64% said they learned "right from wrong"

Responses from Leaders and Volunteers after participating in a SuperKids program...

89% said SuperKids helps children know more about Jesus 83% said SuperKids helps children learn about the Bible 77% said SuperKids makes Bible learning fun for children 74% said they'd be a SuperKids team leader in the future 69% were completely satisfied with SuperKids Program

What Christian Leaders are Saying About...Scripture Union

  • "Scripture Union made me realize the importance of the word of God." --Luis Palau
  • "Scripture Union taught me the discipline of daily Bible reading." --John Stott
  • "I wouldn't be the person I am today without...Scripture Union." --N. T. Wright
  • "I am totally, completely and forever a Scripture Union man." --Billy Graham


Scripture Union is committed to the expansion of the PrimeTime program, reaching more children with the Good News of the Gospel. Funding is gratefully accepted in order to maintain the current programs and expand to new locations. The vision for the PrimeTime program is to become a catalyst for a national network of after-school programs for at-risk and/or un-churched children. The foundation for these programs is built on a relational, holistic evangelistic philosophy. This project is especially significant because it targets children outside the orbit of church, at an age which research shows they are most likely to respond to Christ.

PrimeTime Expense Summary -

  • Training. SU Regional Directors will conduct start-up training for leaders and volunteers at each PrimeTime location. In addition, follow up training and site visits occur throughout the year.
  • Curriculum. SU produces all curriculum materials and provides all supplies for the program at each location.
  • Online Children's Resource Center. SU has developed a web-based delivery system for its curriculum and video training modules thereby enhancing the work of the Regional Directors and quickly spreading the program to other locations.
  • Follow-Up Strategy. Scripture Union brings the PrimeTime program to at-risk children in their own neighborhoods. The programs are designed for implementation in local churches so that children and their families can be connected for ongoing assistance with basic needs, as well as spiritual support.
  • Bible Engagement. The PrimeTime program encourages children to read and know the Scriptures by incorporating fun, Bible-based activities. New materials are being developed that help the children foster a Bible-based lifestyle.