Chi Alpha is under the United States Missions branch of the Assemblies of God and is open to students of all backgrounds.
It soon became apparent that a newsletter by itself was inadequate, and so in 1953 Calvin Holsinger chartered the first Assemblies of God student group at Missouri State University (at the time Southwest Missouri State University) in Springfield, Missouri - site of the Assemblies of God headquarters. The movement quickly spread to other campuses. For example, the first Chi Alpha to own property was the UC Berkeley chapter, which purchased a house next to campus in 1964.
The name Chi Alpha was inspired by a contemporary Assemblies of God youth movement called Christ's Ambassadors (a phrase in 2 Corinthians 5:20). The initials CA were changed to Greek initials (XA) in order to resemble the names of other college organizations.
The organization began to move into Europe in the 1970s under the name Students for Christ, and also into Latin America under various names.
In 1978, Dennis Gaylor became national director of Chi Alpha, and continues to lead from the national level today.
There are now Chi Alpha ministries on over 250 colleges and universities in America, and many more in sister organizations around the world.