PragerU Grows Rapidly, Has Connections to Evangelicals
The conservative media outlet has grown from $10 million in revenue to $65 million over the last five years.
The Prager University Foundation, more commonly known as PragerU, was founded in 2010 and has multiplied rapidly over the last few years.
Founded by Dennis Prager and Allen Estrin, the nonprofit organization “promote[s] American values through the creative use of educational videos that reach millions of people online.”
In 2017 its revenue was about $10 million. Last year, it topped $65 million in revenue. According to its financials, in 2022 it had $77 million in net assets.
PragerU is not a Christian ministry, but it appeals to many evangelical Christians because its content counters many leftwing talking points.
The Dennis Prager Show, hosted by the PragerU founder, is broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, a media company that supports many Christian radio stations and programming.
Prager, an orthodox Jew, wrote in a 2014 article in the Jewish Journal about his affinity with Christians. “Over the last 20 years, I have probably spent as much time with Evangelical Christians as with fellow Jews — in private settings, speaking at churches, on listener cruises, in my home and in their homes,” he said.
His emails include articles addressing questions like “Where is God in tragedy?” that likely appeal to Christians.
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Additionally, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2019 that PragerU was primarily funded by Dan and Farris Wilks, billionaire brothers from Texas who are involved in the fracking industry. Farris Wilks leads a church called the Assembly of Yahweh in Cisco, Texas.
MinistryWatch reached out multiple times to PragerU to ask about its relationship with evangelical Christians and its plans for the future but received no reply.
PragerU may be most well-known for its 5-minute videos hosted by conservative experts often about newsworthy topics, but has added short documentaries, interviews, and children’s programming.
Its content has been approved for use in school classrooms in Florida and Oklahoma.
According to its annual report, PragerU content is watched 5 million times daily, and over the course of the year, more than 26 million unique visitors visited the group’s website.
PragerU’s CEO is Marissa Streit, whose annual salary is $978,263. Estrin is executive director and is paid $327,500 annually.
In the MinistryWatch database, PragerU gets a one-star financial efficiency rating, a D transparency grade, and a donor confidence of 63, meaning one should “give with caution.” Because it is not a Christian ministry, it cannot be a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.