College Theology Society
COLLEGE THEOLOGY SOCIETY
The College Theology Society was founded in 1953 and originally called the Society of Catholic College Teachers of Sacred Doctrine. The present name, "College Theological Society" was adopted at the 1967 annual meeting.
An association of college and university teachers, the College Theology Society serves to promote the teaching of theology, especially on the undergraduate level; to foster communication and exchange of information and experience relative to the study of religion through publications sponsored by the Society and through national and regional meetings; and to integrate religious studies into the rest of the undergraduate curriculum.
Although full membership is open to all who teach religious thought on the college or university level or who have been awarded a graduate degree in the field, the Society has historically drawn a significant majority of its members from Catholic institutions. While maintaining its roots in the Roman Catholic tradition, the Society has become ecumenical in its membership and outlook.
The adoption of a new name mirrored the changes that took place in the academic study of religion at Catholic colleges in the 1960s. Religious studies, as well as that branch of the discipline that concerns itself particularly with Christian theology, were increasingly recognized as bona fide academic pursuits that have a legitimate place in the liberal arts curriculum. As college curricula changed in the 1960s and 1970s, so also did the College Theology Society—a change concretely illustrated by the adoption of its new name at the 1967 annual meeting. Today the Society reflects a broad range of academic inquiry, although its principal focus remains Christian theology. Its membership includes non-Catholic as well as Catholic teachers in public and religiously affiliated institutions.
Publications have been a strong component of the Society's efforts. An annual publication, distributed to members but also marketed as a trade book, is built around papers presented at the annual convention. A semiannual journal, Horizons, begun in 1974, has proven to be exceptionally successful. With an editorial office at Villanova University and partially supported by assistance from that institution, the journal features scholarly articles, book reviews, opportunities for readers' comments on contemporary issues, and studies on effective college teaching.
[t. m. mcfadden/eds.]