The American Catholic Historical Association is a conference of scholars, archivists, and teachers of Catholic studies. It is the place where the field of Catholic studies begins. Founded by the distinguished church historian Peter Guilday who, in 1919, assembled a group of scholars in Cleveland, Ohio, it was intended to be a national society that would bring together scholars scattered across the country and their nonprofessional supporters, all of whom were interested in the history of the Catholic Church or Catholic aspects of secular history.Accordingly, from its earliest years the Association has pursued two main objectives. One is to promote a deeper and more widespread knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church broadly considered, which encompasses its internal life–its growth and expansion from the apostolic age to the present and in all quarters of the Earth; its evolving doctrine, discipline, polity, liturgy, spirituality, and piety; and its missionary, charitable, and educational activities–as well as its external life—its relations with the civil government; its members’ individual and collective influence on the intellectual, cultural, political, and social progress of mankind; and its members’ attitudes toward their contemporary circumstances and problems.
The other important aim is the advancement of historical scholarship in all fields among its members by rendering them various services, offering them opportunities for utilizing their talents, and according them public recognition for their demonstrated merits. The Association has always enjoyed the support of Catholic universities, colleges, and seminaries and has endeavored, in turn, to make itself especially helpful to their teachers, scholars, and students. In more recent times, the Association has invited diocesan and religious archivists and historians to become a part of the ACHA family.
We are the ACHA, and we invite you to consider membership and active participation at the place where Catholic studies begin.