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Sigma Phi Lambda
ΣΦΛ
Sigma Phi Lambda sorority crest.gif
Founded1988; 34 years ago (1988)
University of Texas at Austin
TypeSocial, Religious
EmphasisChristian
ScopeNational
Vision statementSigma Phi Lambda exists for the sole purpose of glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ and making His name great.[1]
SloganSisters for the Lord
Colors  Red and   White
MascotLamb
PhilanthropyWorld Vision[2]
Chapters44 installed
(27 active, 17 inactive)
HeadquartersAustin, TX
United States
WebsiteOfficial website

Sigma Phi Lambda (ΣΦΛ), also known as Sisters for the Lord or Phi Lamb, is a Christian sorority founded in 1988 in Austin, Texas.

History

Sigma Phi Lambda was founded in 1988 at the University of Texas at Austin. Its Founders were:

Phi Lamb was part of a broader movement to establish Christian sororities during the mid-1980s, as the Evangelical Christian movement was on the rise in the United States.[4]

Phi Lamb itself was also a part of the same movement as it affected men's fraternities. The establishment of Sigma Phi Lambda can be linked to the founders' experiences and interactions with their male counterparts, who had, three years earlier, founded the Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi at Texas.[4]

Sigma Phi Lambda has also spread the idea of Christian Greek Organizations. After the establishment of the Texas Tech University chapter, a group of men founded Kappa Upsilon Chi to serve as a counterpart.[4]

Since establishment, the number of chapters has grown rapidly. The chapters on the campuses of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Florida have well over 100 sisters, and the sorority continues to actively develop new chapters around the country.[5][6]

Many local sororities arose during same period as Phi Lamb's founding across the country, but only a handful were successful in national expansion. Phi Lamb's success was accomplished through incorporation, a national board of directors and a national director.

Sigma Phi Lambda was the third National Sorority for Christian women, independent of a Greek council for colleges and universities. Alpha Delta Chi was first in 1925 founded at UCLA. Sigma Alpha Omega was the first sorority to be founded in the 1980s resurgence of Christian Greek Life, founded at East Carolina University in 1987. Phi Lamb seeks spiritual development through their sisterhood. Their traditions develop these standards.

Structure, Traditions and Symbols

Sigma Phi Lambda is not like most traditional sororities because it is a non-denominational and non-Panhellenic sorority. While most traditional sororities and even some Christian sororities limit potential new members from holding membership in more than one sorority, Sigma Phi Lambda allows other sorority initiates to be initiated into Phi Lamb and also allows Phi Lamb members to hold multiple Greek affiliations including but not limited to membership in National Panhellenic Conference and National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities.

Sigma Phi Lambda does not offer membership bids. The stance of the organization is that a woman is to choose Phi Lamb. Phi Lamb does not choose their members or exclude women from membership.

Sigma Phi Lambda holds multiple social and philanthropic events each semester to promote external growth and outreach. These are sometimes done with other Christian organizations on campus. Devotionals or testimonies are given at such open parties. The sorority's national charitable focus is World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide. [5][7]

Symbols

The symbols of Phi Lamb include:

During chapter meetings, soft praise and worship music is played to wrap up individual prayer time. Phi Lamb has various prayer nights, prayer groups, and prayer partners within the chapter. Prayer partners are accountability partners that are set up for spending quality time with another sister to pray and get to know one another better. Phi Lamb has engagement circles that are a way of honoring ladies who become engaged while members.

Gifts are given to graduating seniors. Officers cook and serve meals at retreat. Phi Lamb has an official dance that is danced to the song "Shackles" by Mary Mary.

Membership

Membership is open to any undergraduate or graduate student, another uniqueness considering most sororities limit membership to undergraduates only. Married women may also become members of Sigma Phi Lambda, so long as she is still a student. Members "pledge" for one semester where they are the "little sisters" before being initiated into the sorority. Initiation is a formal event. It is conducted according to a complete and secret script written by the founding mothers. The tradition of initiation is very important to Phi Lamb and is treated as such. There are several informal traditions each chapter follows in regards to initiation, such as: going out to dinner afterwards, giving James Avery pins during initiation, big sisters edifying their little sisters, and giving flowers to retiring officers at the closing ceremony for the new officers.

Cable Groups

Small groups that operate within chapter meetings, used for discussion, prayer, and various activities.[5]

Organization

National Board of Directors – Phi Lamb is governed by a Board of Directors made up of five alumnae who make policy decisions for the organization.

Executive Director – The Executive Director, or ED, helps found new Phi Lamb chapters, assisting the Board with daily tasks, and plans the All-Chapter Officer Retreat.

Regional Directors – Regional Directors oversee multiple chapters. They work with the Alumnae Council and visit chapters to help guide the chapter in planning and decision-making.

Alumnae Councils – After a chapter has been established long enough to have alumnae, an Alumnae Council is formed. Made up of three members, these must be former officers or founders of that chapter. The Alumnae Council provides guidance to the chapter and assistance to the Regional Director.

Officers – Five officers are elected annually in each chapter, generally in the Spring. The offices are: President, Vice President, Chaplain, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers perform the daily functions and lead the members of their chapter. There are also a number of appointed officer positions in each chapter depending on the chapter's individual needs. All officers must sign and abide by a covenant created by the national board.[8]

Actives – Active, or initiated, members of Phi Lamb are considered the "big sisters" of their chapter. They hold voting rights and may hold elected or appointed officer positions.

New Members – New members of Phi Lamb, or uninitiated members, are termed the "little sisters" of their chapter. The terminology, an extension of a "big sister/little sister" dynamic was designed to reduce the risk of hazing, and is described by the sorority in familial terms: "little sisters are cherished by their big sisters" and are a vital part of Phi Lamb. Upon initiation into the sorority, they become Active members. [9]

Sigma Phi Lambda Sorority Verse

Romans 15:5-6 ~ "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Chapters

This is the list of chapters of Sigma Phi Lambda. Active chapters and colonies are noted in bold, inactive chapters in italics.[10][11]

Chapter Date Established University Location Status Notes
Alpha 1988 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas Active
Beta 1990 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas Active [12]
Gamma 1991 Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas Active [13]
Delta 1992 Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches, Texas Active
Epsilon 1997 Texas State University San Marcos, Texas Active
Zeta 1998-2020 ? Southwestern University Georgetown, Texas Inactive
Eta 1999 Houston Baptist University Sharpstown, Houston, Texas Active [14]
Theta 2001-2020 ? Baylor University Waco, Texas Inactive
Iota 2002 Angelo State University San Angelo, Texas Active
Kappa 2002 ?-20xx Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas Inactive
Lambda 2003 ?-20xx Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, Oklahoma Inactive
Mu 2003 University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma Active [15]
Nu 2003 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida Active
Xi 2003 ?-20xx Claflin University Orangeburg, South Carolina Inactive
Omicron 2003 Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas Active [16]
Pi 2004 ?-20xx Lamar University Beaumont, Texas Inactive
Rho 2004 ?-20xx College of Charleston Charleston, South Carolina Inactive
Sigma 2004 ?-20xx University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama Inactive
Tau 2005 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas Active [17]
Upsilon 2006 University of North Texas Denton, Texas Active [18]
Phi 2006 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma Active [19]
Chi 2006-2020 ? University of Missouri (Mizzou) Columbia, Missouri Inactive
Psi 2006 Mississippi State University Starkville, Mississippi Active
Omega 2007 University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, Oklahoma Active
Alpha Alpha 2007 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Oxford, Mississippi Active
Alpha Beta 2007 University of Central Florida Orange County, Florida Active
Alpha Gamma 2008 Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee Active
Alpha Delta 2008-2020 ? Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, Texas Inactive
Alpha Epsilon 2009 ?-20xx Wayland Baptist University Plainview, Texas Inactive
Alpha Zeta 2011 University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Active
Alpha Eta 2011 University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas Active
Alpha Theta 2011-2021 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana Inactive
Alpha Iota 2011-2019 ? Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, Arkansas Inactive
Alpha Kappa 2011 ?-20xx Longwood University Farmville, Virginia Inactive
Alpha Lambda 2012-2020 ? University of Tampa Tampa, Florida Inactive
Alpha Mu 2012 Auburn University Auburn, Alabama Active
Alpha Nu 2013-2019 ? University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma Inactive
Alpha Xi 2013-2020 ? Henderson State University Arkadelphia, Arkansas Inactive
Alpha Omicron 2014 Southern Methodist University University Park, Texas Active [20][21]
Alpha Pi 2015 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, Louisiana Active
Alpha Rho 2016 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chattanooga, Tennessee Active [22]
Alpha Sigma 2017 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas Active [23]
Alpha Tau 2018 University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky Active [24]
Alpha Upsilon 2020 Texas Woman's University Denton, Texas Active [25]
Alpha Phi 2021 West Texas A&M University Canyon, Texas Active
Alpha Chi 2021 Southwestern Oklahoma State Weatherford, Oklahoma Active

References

  1. ^ "Sigma Phi Lambda › Who We Are". Sigmaphilambda.org. 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  2. ^ "Sigma Phi Lambda › Philanthropy". Sigmaphilambda.org. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  3. ^ "Sigma Phi Lambda | UTK". Utkphilamb.wix.com. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  4. ^ a b c d Torbenson, Craig LaRon; Parks, Gregory, eds. (2009). Brothers and Sisters: Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororities. Associated University Presse. p. 226. ISBN 9780838641941. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Rohane, Kyle (21 October 2019). "Pious Pledges and Consecrated Keggers" (Magazine). No. vol 63, no 8. Christianity Today. p. 46. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  6. ^ IRS 990s and financial profile available through Cause IQ, accessed 7 April 2022.
  7. ^ Branson, Ashley (11 November 2020). "Sigma Phi Lambda hosts Volley for World Vision". The JTAC, official student newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  8. ^ Feddes, Morgan (15 December 2011). "A Private Matter: Vanderbilt Vets Student Ministries" (Magazine). No. vol 55, no 12. Christianity Today. p. 16. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  9. ^ Familial relationships are mentioned often in member testimonies, courtesy of the national website, accessed 7 April 2022.
  10. ^ William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive)". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 15 May 2021. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  11. ^ Current chapter list from the national website, accessed 24 Apr 2021.
  12. ^ Beta chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  13. ^ Gamma chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  14. ^ Epsilon chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  15. ^ Epsilon chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  16. ^ Omicron chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  17. ^ Tau chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  18. ^ Upsilon chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  19. ^ Phi chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  20. ^ Alpha Omicron chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  21. ^ Kelley, Claire (2 September 2014). "SMU Welcomes Sigma Phi Lambda to Campus". The Daily Campus: The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University since 1915. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  22. ^ Alpha Rho chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  23. ^ Alpha Rho chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  24. ^ Alpha Tau chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.
  25. ^ Alpha Upsilon chapter's University portal page, accessed 7 April 2022.