Theta Alpha Kappa

National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology

Theta Alpha Kappa is the only national honor society serving the needs of those involved in the study of religion and/or theology at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels of higher education. The society's purpose is to:

  • encourage excellence in the study of religion or theology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  
  • recognize excellence in scholarly and academic achievements.  
  • help foster and maintain excellence in the professional academic study of religion and theology.
  • help local chapters in their efforts to fulfill these purposes.

Benefits of Membership

Students who join Theta Alpha Kappa can expect several benefits:

  • Recognition as distinguished scholars and members of a society that is rapidly growing in numbers and prestige.
  • A recognition pin and a membership certificate.
  • Compete for Theta Alpha Kappa scholarships and fellowships.
  • Subscription to The Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa.
  • Present scholarly work at regional or national conventions.
  • Receive special recognition at graduation, such as wearing honor cords or stoles.

Brief History of Theta Alpha Kappa

Theta Alpha Kappa was initially conceived by the Religious Studies faculty at Manhattan College in Riverdale (the Bronx), New York during the 1975-76 academic year and was formally instituted at the annual meeting of the College Theology Society held in Manhattan College in 1976. Theta Alpha Kappa was instituted not only to promote the purposes already stated but to fill a vacuum in national honor societies dedicated to the academic study of religion and theology at private and public institutions of higher learning.

By 1977 a Constitution had been created and the first officers had been elected, and Theta Alpha Kappa had taken on nineteen campuses in twelve states. The Society created a Journal (1978), became a member of the Association for College Honor Societies (1985), was accepted into the American Academy of Religion as a "Related Scholarly Organization" (1994), and (by 2000) had over one hundred fifty chapters across North America representing a diverse range of institutions both large and small, public and private.

In 1998 a completely new constitution was ratified, and an amended set of incorporation papers was filed with the State of New York. With these and other new documents in hand, the Society looks forward to continued growth in and service to these academic fields of study.