Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor
Mark Sappenfield has been named the next editor of the Christian Science Monitor, based in Boston, Mass.

New editor at The Christian Science Monitor

Mark Sappenfield has been named the 17th editor of news organization begun in 1908. 

The Christian Science Board of Directors has elected Mark Sappenfield to serve as the next editor of The Christian Science Monitor, succeeding Marshall Ingwerson who announced his resignation in December.  

Mr. Sappenfield, a 20-year veteran with the Monitor, held assignments in Boston, the San Francisco Bay area, Washington, and South Asia. Returning from New Delhi to Boston in 2009, Sappenfield was named deputy national news editor, and in September 2014 he became national news editor and joined the Monitor editorial managing team.

Outgoing editor Ingwerson told a newsroom gathering that "Mark is a guy who brings great gifts to journalism but also no ego.... He brings this paradoxical feel of a longtime familiar in the newsroom but also a fresh breeze."

After recognizing Ingwerson's contribution as editor, Board member Scott Preller said that "The Board is feeling a real sense of momentum and joy about the future of the Monitor... What the Monitor is producing, what it has to offer to the world is needed now more than ever."

Sharing his conviction about the Monitor’s unique place, Sappenfield recently talked about the need for the Monitor to once again help lead a renovation in journalism. “Done correctly, journalism can be an agent of healing and hope because it is not about arguing over facts and events but getting to the basic issues that matter so greatly to us all. It is about taking account of lasting values and spiritual qualities that animate everyone and make for human progress – qualities such as goodness, grace, justice, courage, humility, joy. Our reporting is guided and defined by them. It aims for excellence – stories well told, accurately and fairly.”

Sappenfield will assume the editorship on March 20. 

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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