The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) is pleased to announce progress on an inter-institutional effort to publicly share records, writings and interviews of the Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, a founding voice of womanist theology.

The collaboration began in 2021 with the goal of having a single online repository for personal records that Cannon distributed between PHS, Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Since then, PHS has scanned and made public records from the Center for Womanist Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary. The PHS digitization team is currently scanning and publishing records provided by The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary (Columbia University Libraries) and plans on wrapping up the project in early 2023 by digitizing the records Cannon donated to PHS.

Cannon, who died in 2018, was the first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and the first African American to earn a PhD from Union Theological Seminary. Her enormous influence as a theologian and educator can be experienced through the sermons and writings currently being added to the Katie Cannon Digital Collection — accessible through PHS’s digital archive, Pearl. Read an update by Allison Davis, PHS Digital Collection Specialist, about recent additions here.

PHS hopes the collection will be a resource for students and educators pursuing degrees in theology and divinity. In an effort to capture and share reflections on Cannon’s work, PHS encourages seminary students who engage with the digitized sermons and writings to send any reflections (written or recorded) to Kristen Gaydos at

As digitization continues, PHS hopes to record memories of Cannon from people who knew her or were influenced by her work. If you were a student, colleague or friend and would like to honor her legacy through a testimonial, contact David Staniunas at

Visit the Katie Cannon Digital Collection in Pearl: