Sigma Phi Lambda

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Sigma Phi Lambda
ΣΦΛ
Founded1988; 32 years ago (1988)
University of Texas at Austin
TypeSocial, Christian
Vision statementSigma Phi Lambda exists for the sole purpose of glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ and making His name great.[1]
Colors  Red   White
MascotLamb
PhilanthropyWorld Vision[2]
Chapters32[3]
HeadquartersAustin, Texas
United States
Websitehttp://www.sigmaphilambda.org/

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[edit]

Sigma Phi Lambda was founded in 1988 at the University of Texas at Austin by Patricia Adams Hogan, Robin Maedgen, Gina Williams Goveas, Jacqueline Goveas, and Eileen Howell Barlow.[4]

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.

Phi Lamb itself was also a part of the same movement as it affected men's fraternities. The founding 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.

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.

Since the founding, 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.

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 and Traditions[edit]

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 to Phi Lamb. Phi Lamb does not choose their members or exclude women from membership.

Sigma Phi Lambda holds multiple social 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 symbols of Phi Lamb include:

  • Official colors: Red and white, symbolizing the blood and purity of Jesus Christ
  • Official mascot: A lamb named Baasheeba, symbolizes the sisters' relationship with Jesus Christ. The mascot is also based on the nickname of "Phi Lamb" and the Psalm 100:3.
  • Official belief statement: the Apostle's Creed

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.

Organization[edit]

National Board of Directors

Phi Lamb is governed by a Board of Directors made up of five alumnae that keep things running smoothly and 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. These three members 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.

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 considered the "little sisters" of their chapter. They are cherished by their big sisters and are a vital part of Phi Lamb. Upon initiation into the sorority, they become Active members.

Sigma Phi Lambda Sorority Verse[edit]

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[edit]

Chapter Date Established University Active
Alpha 1988 University of Texas at Austin Yes
Beta 1990 Texas A&M University Yes
Gamma 1991 Texas Tech University Yes
Delta 1992 Stephen F. Austin State University Yes
Epsilon 1997 Texas State University Yes
Zeta 1998 Southwestern University Yes
Eta 1999 Houston Baptist University Yes
Theta 2001 Baylor University Yes
Iota 2002 Angelo State University Yes
Kappa (Inactive) Sam Houston State University No
Lambda (Inactive) Oklahoma Baptist University No
Mu 2003 University of Oklahoma Yes
Nu 2003 University of Florida Yes
Xi (Inactive) Claflin University No
Omicron 2003 Tarleton State University Yes
Pi (Inactive) Lamar University No
Rho (Inactive) College of Charleston No
Sigma (Inactive) University of Alabama at Birmingham No
Tau 2005 University of Arkansas Yes
Upsilon 2006 University of North Texas Yes
Phi 2006 Oklahoma State University Yes
Chi 2006 University of Missouri (Mizzou) Yes
Psi 2006 Mississippi State University Yes
Omega 2007 University of Central Oklahoma Yes
Alpha Alpha 2007 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Yes
Alpha Beta 2007 University of Central Florida Yes
Alpha Gamma 2008 Vanderbilt University Yes
Alpha Delta 2008 Midwestern State University Yes
Alpha Epsilon (Inactive) Wayland Baptist University No
Alpha Zeta 2011 University of Tennessee at Knoxville Yes
Alpha Eta 2011 University of Central Arkansas Yes
Alpha Theta 2011 Louisiana State University Yes
Alpha Iota 2011 Southern Arkansas University Yes
Alpha Kappa (Inactive) Longwood University No
Alpha Lambda 2012 University of Tampa Yes
Alpha Mu 2012 Auburn University Yes
Alpha Nu 2013 University of Tulsa Yes
Alpha Xi 2013 Henderson State University Yes
Alpha Omicron 2014 Southern Methodist University Yes
Alpha Pi 2015 Louisiana Tech University Yes
Alpha Rho 2016 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Yes
Alpha Sigma 2017 Texas Christian University Yes
Alpha Upsilon 2020 Texas Woman's University Yes

References[edit]

  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 › Current Chapters". Sigmaphilambda.org. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  4. ^ "Sigma Phi Lambda | UTK". Utkphilamb.wix.com. Retrieved 2014-05-17.

External links[edit]