The CTSA is the principal association of Catholic theologians in North America. With a membership of 1200, the CTSA is the largest professional society of theologians in the world. Active members of the Society hold the doctorate in theology or a related discipline. The purpose of the CTSA is to promote theological research in the Roman Catholic tradition that is attentive to contemporary problems faced by the Church and the world.
Since its founding in 1946, the CTSA meets at its annual convention where its members engage each other in dialogue by presenting their ongoing research and receiving the constructive criticism of their colleagues. Much of this research is published in the Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The annual convention also enables the many CTSA members who are teachers to share their best pedagogical practices. At the convention Business Meeting, the attending members elect a future President of the Society and new representatives to the Board of Directors. Also, at each convention, the Society honors one of its members for a lifetime of distinguished theological achievement through the conferral of the John Courtney Murray Award, named for one of its early Board members who was a major theologian in the American Catholic Church.