While Andrews University occasionally authorized publication of academic works during the 1960s, the administration began planning for a more formal academic publishing operation in March of 1969. By the fall of 1971, those plans resulted in the establishment of Andrews University Press. Much of the early work focused on archaeological publications under the direction of Siegfried Horn, well-known biblical archaeologist, who informally acted as the first director of the press. Editorial activities were shared among full-time professors and university administrators who served as members of the press board, which was chaired variously by the university president or vice president of academic administration/provost.
As the volume and scope of publications increased, a professor from the School of Business, Robert Firth, was given a half-time responsibility as Director of Andrews University Press and had the help of a full-time editorial assistant and student-worker shipping clerk. This arrangement continued through the 1970s and 80s, with a steadily increasing volume of significant publications. Three major works during this time were important cornerstones of the small publishing house’s financial operations: two textbooks in educational philosophy by George R. Knight, and the Cruise/Blitchington Temperament Inventory. Many other works in church history, archaeology, faith and science, local history, business, missions, religion, and theology quickly followed. In the late 1990s, staffing changed to a three-quarter-time professional director and a three-quarter-time editor, both of whom were changed to fulltime in the early 2000s.
For most of its history, Andrews University Press was housed in single small offices in various locations around campus. In the 1990s it moved to a two-room office suite in the Information Services building. In 2005, it moved to its present location in Sutherland House.
In 2010, Andrews University Press published the New King James Version of the Andrews Study Bible, which has had a marked influence on the financial operations of the Press and broadened its ability to serve a wider audience through an increasing portfolio of important academic works. That Bible publishing initiative has expanded to include a New International Version in 2019 and the Andrews Bible Commentary (Old Testament volume in 2020), a concise work intended as a complement to the Andrews Study Bible.
Andrews University Press is now staffed by a director, associate director, editor, customer service and marketing associate, and many student workers who assist with editorial, technical, and marketing tasks. The staff is under the supervision of the Andrews University Scholarly Publications and Andrews University Press Board, which is chaired by the president of Andrews University.