In 1976, Professor Albert Clark, F.S.C., established Theta Alpha Kappa at Manhattan College in Riverdale (the Bronx), New York, for the purpose of recognizing the academic achievements of students in religious studies and theology. Since then, Theta Alpha Kappa has chartered more than 350 chapters in educational institutions throughout the United States, ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges and seminaries to large public research institutions. It is the only national honor society dedicated to recognizing academic excellence in religious studies and theology for undergraduate and graduate students.
Induction requires nomination by an active chapter at the student’s institution. Undergraduate students must have a 3.5 GPA (on a 4-point scale) in at least 12 semester credit hours (or 18 quarter credit hours) of relevant coursework in religious studies and/or theology, a 3.0 GPA overall in at least three semesters (or five quarters) of residency, and a class rank within the top 35%. Graduate students must have completed at least half of the credit hours in their religious studies or theology program with a 3.5 GPA.
In addition to encouraging the activities of local chapters, Theta Alpha Kappa maintains a vigorous national program of scholarship awards and fellowship competitions. The Undergraduate Achievement Award provides for each chapter to claim a $100 scholarship every other year for the student it nominates. For a chapter designated as small, this in effect returns to the chapter two-years-worth of its annual dues. Each year TAK awards fellowships to three TAK members towards graduate programs in religious studies or theology. Additionally, its primary publication, the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, offers annual prizes and the publication of outstanding student papers.
Theta Alpha Kappa is a related scholarly organization of the American Academy of Religion, an affiliate organization of the Society of Biblical Literature, and a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.