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 religion and theology students.  Since then, Theta Alpha Kappa has grown to more than two hundred chapters nationally in four-year educational institutions ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges to large public research institutions.  It is the only national honor society dedicated to recognizing academic excellence in baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate students and in scholars in the fields of Religious Studies and Theology.

Induction requires nomination by a local chapter and, to be eligible, students must have a 3.5 GPA in Religious Studies and/or Theology and a 3.0 GPA overall.  Residency, class ranking, and unit requirements must also be met.

In addition to encouraging the activities of local chapters, Theta Alpha Kappa maintains a vigorous national program of scholarship awards and fellowship competitions; its primary publication, the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, offers an annual prize and the publication of outstanding student papers.

Theta Alpha Kappa is an affiliated society of the American Academy of Religion and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.