About the
American Catholic Historical Association

For 100 years, we've been the home of Catholic scholarship.

The American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA) was established in 1919 to promote study and research of the history of Catholicism broadly conceived and to encourage professional and personal contacts among students, archivists, and scholars of this history.

Membership is open to anyone who is involved or interested in the study and research of Catholic history. There are currently over five hundred members who come from the United States and abroad. The official academic journal of the ACHA is the Catholic Historical Review, published by Catholic University of America Press. As an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, the ACHA holds its annual meeting at the AHA annual meeting each January. This event includes academic panels, a general membership business meeting, a meeting of the Executive Council, tours and exhibits, an awards ceremony, and opportunities for collaboration and socializing. The ACHA also convenes a smaller meeting each Spring; these meetings are ordinarily sponsored by seminaries, colleges, or universities that have made proposals to the Executive Council.

In addition to academic conferences, the ACHA encourages new scholarship in Catholic history through travel, research, and writing grants, specifically designed for graduate students and contingent or early career faculty. The ACHA recognizes scholarly achievement by awarding five distinct prizes to exceptional monographs, journal articles, and dissertations. The ACHA features new developments in the field of Catholic history, and special contributions by its members, through a series of online initiatives, including: the “Hidden Catholic Collections” blog, biannual virtual seminars, the “New Books in Catholic Studies” podcast, and H-Catholic, each of which is managed by an ACHA committee. Finally, the ACHA publishes a quarterly newsletter and is active on social media platforms.

The ACHA is governed by an elected President, an elected nine-person Executive Council, an Executive Secretary-Treasurer, who is appointed by the Executive Council, and the editor of the Catholic Historical Review (ex-officio). In addition to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, the ACHA staff includes an appointed Communications Assistant, a Membership and Web Administrator, and an Administrative Assistant who is provided by Mount St. Mary’s University, the ACHA’s host institution.

In recent years, the ACHA has expanded its membership and its contribution to the field of Catholic history because of the strength of its committee structure, with approximately thirty members serving on committees. The Association’s historic mission, robust governance, and energetic membership have prepared the ACHA for future growth.