Founder & CEO Emeritus
Rick Christian founded Alive Literary Agency in Los Angeles in 1989 and moved operations to Colorado Springs in 1991. He served 30 years as CEO until his retirement in 2019, following the internal sale of the agency. In his tenure, Alive clients scored 15 New York Times #1 bestsellers and sold more than 250 million copies.
Christian’s efforts on behalf of top authors have been widely chronicled in leading national publications, and earned a cover story for Christianity Today and a feature profile in The Gazette. His biography and record of achievement appear in Who’s Who in America.
Raised in San Diego and a 1977 graduate of Stanford University (communications and creative writing), he also studied at Capernwray Bible School in England and the University of Southern California where he pursued graduate work in professional writing.
Christian launched his publishing career as a newspaper reporter and columnist, followed by a career switch to magazine publishing. He served as associate editor of Campus Life magazine, executive editor of The Saturday Evening Post, and then transitioned to executive leadership in book publishing. Along the way, he wrote several books himself, including Alive, The Woodland Hills Tragedy, A Gift of Life, and Silent Night, which was adapted for the television series “Sue Thomas F.B.Eye.”
It is as a literary agent that Christian became renowned, particularly for his entrepreneurial efforts behind such mega-sellers as the Left Behind series (70 million copies), Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible (20 million copies), Karen Kingsbury’s novels (25 million copies), Todd Burpo’s Heaven Is for Real (13 million), Steve Arterburn’s/Dave Stoop’s Life Recovery Bible (3 million copies), Lisa Beamer’s post 9-11 Let’s Roll (1.5 million copies), Don Miller’s Blue Like Jazz (1 million copies), and Ron Hall’s/Denver Moore’sSame Kind of Different as Me (1 million).
He is also celebrated for his literary efforts on behalf of Brennan Manning, Anne Graham Lotz, Henri Nouwen, Emerson Eggerichs, Elisa Morgan, Dave and Jan Dravecky, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, and select titles from Billy Graham and Philip Yancey, among many others. Additionally, he has championed the adaptation of Alive books for film and TV, including Tri-Star’s hit production of Heaven Is for Real, Paramount’s Same Kind of Different as Me, Karen Kingsbury’s upcoming Baxter Family streaming series with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, and numerous films for Hallmark Channel and various independent producers.
He and his wife Debbie have a blended family of seven children and live on a ranch in Black Forest, outside of Colorado Springs.
Want to learn more from Rick?
Check out the Ask Rick Christian column