Chi Alpha International had its beginning the late 1940’s when the late J. Robert Aschroft, father of US Senator John Aschroft encouraged the General Concil of the Assemblies of God, a world-wide Christian denomination, to start a ministry that would reach beyond the church walls to students on secular college campuses.
The name Chi Alpha was developed around the fraternity/sorority Greek system and honor societies of the 1950’s. It was first used at Southwest Missouri State University in 1953. Chi Alpha takes its name from the first two letters of the Greek words, “Christou Apostoloi “- Christ’s Ambassadors or Christ’s Sent Ones.
From the first chapter established in 1953 in the US, Chi Alpha now has grown to become a campus ministry arm of the Assemblies of God worldwide. While maintaining fraternity, Chi Alpha chapters in different countries are run by their respective Assemblies of God General Council independent from its parent organization in the US.
Here in the Philippines, Chi Alpha was first introduced by American Assemblies of God missionaries in the late 60’s with political upheavals and surging leftist movements at the background. Young people of Assemblies of God churches all throughout Manila who are studying in the different schools of Manila’s University Belt form chapters of Chi Alpha. In the early 1970’s Chi Alpha’s slowly grows and extends its influences on students. Chi Alpha Student Center was even created along Espana (fronting UST) which later becomes a hub where students in the area can hang out. However, despite its early growth, various factors caused the decline of the movement until a single Chi Alpha chapter can hardly be located.
While there were several Assemblies of God initiated campus ministries from the 80’s to the 90’s, it was only after about three decades, that the National Youth Department of the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God felt that the time is ripe to re-introduce Chi Alpha. With the burden of establishing ministries that will reconcile students to Christ and help transform the universities, the marketplace and the world with the love of Jesus, Chi Alpha Philippines is now officially “re-born.” In less than 3 years since its conception in 2002, Chi Alpha student ministries have about 20 chapters nationwide. With more campus workers responding to the challenge and with God’s favor, Chi Alpha will continue to reach students and universities, and usher them to experience God’s love.