Our name was inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
Taking the concept of Christ’s Ambassadors, our founders chose to make our name sound similar to the names of honor societies popular at the time we were established (1953). Hence, Christ’s Ambassadors was rendered as Chi Alpha (XA).
Given that we have Greek initials for a New Testament phrase, you might assume that our initials actually stood for the Greek phrase in question.
Oddly enough, you would be wrong.
If you look at the Greek words in 2 Corinthians 5:20 (alternate site), you will notice the word that is translated as ambassadors is presbeuo. Being bright, you will instantly notice that this word doesn’t begin with an alpha (a).
Fortunately, some resourceful Greek-speaker decided XA could also stand for the Greek phrase Christou Apostoloi, which means Christ’s Messengers or Christ’s Sent Ones, which is really pretty similar to the idea of Christ’s Ambassadors anyway…
And it was just so that Chi Alpha got its name…