Lancaster Seminary Promotes Rev. Dr. Catherine E. Williams to Tenured Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship

April 19, 2024

The Lancaster Theological Seminary Board of Trustees voted this week to promote the Rev. Dr. Catherine E. Williams to associate professor of preaching and worship with tenure. Described as a “consummate teacher” by colleagues, Williams joined Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2017, the year she received a Ph.D. in practical theology – homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Born on the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Williams’s doctoral dissertation was on developing a distinctive, post-colonial preaching rooted in the islands’ calypso music. Music has been a constant theme in her life, her ministry, and her research. A professional pianist and vocalist, she earned a bachelor’s degree in music summa cum laude in 1990 from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She went on to receive a Master of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary in 2010.

Williams’ research interests include the relationship between preaching and sacred song, particularly in worshiping communities of color. Her upcoming book, Preaching and Music: Powerful Partners in Proclamation (Cascade Books, 2025), has been described by her academic peers as making an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the intersection of preaching, worship, and music.

At Lancaster Seminary, Williams has taught classes in preaching (homiletics) and worship and serves as director of chapel worship. In the classroom, Williams is praised for her “inimitable style of teaching that simultaneously is warm and personable as well as exuding a commanding style of practiced authority.” Williams’ faculty colleagues consistently recognize her for teaching that “exemplifies and helps nurture the Lancaster Seminary ethos of honoring the diversity of theological traditions.”

Williams is an ordained United Methodist elder who has served churches in Princeton and Lancaster. She currently is a member of both the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Black Women and Religious Cultures and the Editorial Board of Homiletic, a peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the Academy of Homiletics.