Elsie Anne McKee

McKee 2012

Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship
Department of History and Ecumenics
013 Tennent Hall
Phone: 609.497.7989
Fax: 609.497.7829

The history and theology of the Reformation are the locus of her research, along with a strong interest in cross-cultural issues developed by experience in central Africa.  Themes include the history of Biblical exegesis and spirituality.  Rare book rooms and archives (Geneva, Strasbourg, Zürich) have been keys for "the delight of digging in 16th c. dust," producing studies of theological issues, biographical explorations, and editions of texts.  One focus is Calvin's doctrine of the church: John Calvin on the Diaconate & Liturgical Almsgiving and Elders & the Plural Ministry (Droz, 1984, 1988); work on the pastoral ministry is in process and this book is expected in 2014.  Another storyline reveals a remarkable woman reformer: Katharina Schütz Zell. The Life & Thought of a Sixteenth-Century Reformer and The Writings. A Critical Edition (Brill, 1999).  Other goals include providing more access to the reformers, translations and editions John Calvin: Writings on Practical Piety (Classics of Western Spirituality 2001); Katharina Schütz Zell, Church Mother: The Writings of a Protestant Reformer in Sixteenth Century Germany (Chicago, 2006); John Calvin: The Institutes of the Christian ReligionThe 1541 French Edition (2009); and on-going Calvin's manuscript sermons on I Corinthians for Supplementa Calviniana.  Soon forthcoming will be Pastoral Ministry and Worship in Calvin's Geneva (Droz, 2014?).  Research leads to teaching: the realm for inviting others to the game of historical "come dig with me; finding out is such fun!"  The more players the merrier; learning is for sharing.

Academic Background:

Columbia University, N.Y., summer 1972

Hendrix College, Conway, AR, B.A., 1973; "High Honors"

University of Cambridge, England, Diploma in Theology, 1974

Princeton Theological Seminary, special student, 1974-75

University of Geneva, Switzerland (Institut d'Histoire de la Réformation), 1979-1981

Princeton Theological Seminary, N.J., Ph.D., 1982, summa cum laude


Andover Newton Theological School, Assistant/Assoc. Prof. of Church History, 1982-92

Princeton Theological Seminary, Assoc. 1992-94; Professor 1994-

            Guest Professor: Theological Faculty of the Presbyterian University, Ndesha,

Kasai Occidental, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fall 1995

External Examiner: Theological Faculty of the University of Yaounde, Cameroon,

doctoral advisor; oral defense May 1998.

Visiting Lecturer: Waldensian Seminary, Rome, April 2004

Guest Professor: Theological Faculty, University of Göttingen, summer semester 2004


 Professional Societies:

American Society of Church History

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference

Calvin Studies Society

Vice-President 1993-95, President 1995-97, Member-at-large, 2009-

Society for Reformation Research

North American Academy of Liturgy (resigned 2005)

Societas Liturgica (resigned 2002)

Praesidium of International Congress for Calvin Research 2000-



John Calvin on the Diaconate and Liturgical Almsgiving.  Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance 197.  Geneva:  Droz, 1984.

Elders and the Plural Ministry:  The Role of Exegetical History in Illuminating John Calvin's Theology.  Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance 223.  Geneva:  Droz, 1988.

Diakonia:  In the Classical Reformed Tradition and Today  Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1989. [German translation 1996, Japanese translation 1998, Korean translation 2000]

Editor (with B. Armstrong) for Probing the Reformed Tradition:  Historical Studies in Honor of Edward A. Dowey, Jr.,  Louisville:  Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989.

Reforming Popular Piety in Sixteenth-Century Strasbourg: Katharina Schütz Zell and Her Hymnbook.  Studies in Reformed Theology and History 2:4 (fall 1994).  Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Theological Seminary, 1994.

Katharina Schütz Zell: Volume One. The Life and Thought of a Sixteenth-Century Reformer.  Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 69,1.  Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999.

Katharina Schütz Zell: Volume Two. The Writings, A Critical Edition.  Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 69,2.  Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999.

John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety, edited, with translations.  Classics of Western Spirituality.  Mahweh, NJ: Paulist Press, 2001. [Japanese translation 2009]

Editor/ translator, of Katharina Schütz Zell, Church Mother: The Writings of a Protestant Reformer in Sixteenth-Century Germany.  The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe.  Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006.

Editor/translator, of John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion. The 1541 French Edition.  Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009.

Calvin's Pastoral Theology, [in Korean], translated by Jung-Sook Lee. Seoul: Duranno Publishers, 2011

 Selected Articles

"Conviction:  Conquered by Truth - Alexandre Vinet on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State," in Journal of Church and State 28, Winter 1986, pp. 95-106.

"Calvin's Exegesis of Romans 12:8 - Social, Accidental, or Theological?" in Calvin Theological Journal 23 (April 1988), pp. 6-18.

"L'interprétation de I Tim, 5,17 chez Calvin:  Une curiosité dans l'histoire de l'exégèse,"  in Revue de Théologie et Philosophie (Lausanne) 120 (1988), pp. 411-417.

"Calvin's Exegesis of Rom. 12:8:  A Summary," in W. H. Neuser, ed., Calvinus Servus Christi Die Referate des Internationalen Kongresses für Calvinforschung, 1986. Budapest:  Presseabteilung des Raday-Kollegiums, 1988, pp. 237-240.

"Exegesis, Theology, and Development in Calvin's Institutio:  A Methodological Suggestion," in Probing the Reformed Tradition, ed. E. A. McKee and B. Armstrong.  Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1989.  pp. 154-172.

"Calvin's Teaching on the Elder Illuminated by Exegetical History," in John Calvin and the Church:  A Prism of Reform, ed. Timothy George.  Louisville:  Westminster-John Knox Press, 1990, pp. 147-155.

"Calvin, Discipline, and Exegesis:  Matt. 18:17 and I Cor. 5:1ff in the Sixteenth Century," [summary] in Théorie et pratique de l'exégèse:  Actes du troisième colloque international sur

l'histoire de l'exégèse biblique au XVIe siècle, ed. I. Backus and F. Higman. Geneva:  Droz, 1990, pp. 319-327.

"Some Reflections on Relating Calvin's Exegesis and Theology," in Biblical Hermeneutics in Historical Perspective, ed. M.S. Burrows & P. Rorem (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans,  1991), pp. 215-226.

"The Lasting Contribution of John Calvin" in The Ministry of Elders, ed. Lukas Vischer (Bern: Evangelische Arbeitsstelle Oekumene Schweiz, 1992), pp. 121-136.

"The Offices of Elder and Deacon in the Classical Reformed Tradition," in Major Themes in the Reformed Tradition, ed. Donald K. McKim (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992), pp. 344-353.

"John Calvin's Teaching on the Lord's Prayer," in The Lord's Prayer: Perspectives for Reclaiming Christian Prayer, ed. Daniel L. Migliore (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1993), pp. 88-106. [also published in Princeton Seminary Bulletin, supplementary issue 2 (1992), pp. 88-106.]

"The Defense of Zwingli, Schwenckfeld, and the Baptists, by Katharina Schütz Zell," in Reformiertes Erbe: Festschrift für Gottfried W. Locher zu seinem 80. Geburtstag, ed. Heiko A. Oberman, Ernst Saxer, Alfred Schindler, Heinzpeter Stucki (Zürich: EVG, 1992), vol. 1, pp. 245-264.

"Calvin: The Form of Church Prayers, Strassburg Liturgy (1545)" in The Complete Library of Christian Worship, ed. Robert Webber (Nashville, TN: Star Song Publishing Group, 1994), vol. 2: Twenty Centuries of Christian Worship, pp. 195-203.

"Katharine Schütz Zell:  A Protestant Reformer," in Telling the Churches' Stories: Ecumenical Perspectives on Writing Christian History, ed. T. Wingert and C. Brockwell for NCC Faith and Order Commission (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 73-90.

"Church Offices: Calvinist Offices," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand et.al.  vol. 1 (New York:  Oxford Press, 1996), 335-338.

"'Speaking Out': Katharina Schütz Zell and the Commandment to Love One's Neighbor as an Apologia for Defending the Truth," in Ordenlich und Fruchtbar: Festschrift für Willem van't Spijker, Wilhelm H. Neuser & Herman J. Selderhuis, ed. (Leiden: J. J. Groen en Zoon, 1997), 9-22.

"Context, Contours, Contents: Towards a Description of Calvin's Understanding of Worship," in Calvin Studies Society Papers, 1995, 1997, ed. David L. Foxgrover.  Grand Rapids: CRC Product Services, 1998.  pp. 66-92.

"Katharina Schütz Zell (1498-1562): Une réformatrice laïque parle," in collection "Autour du 500e anniversaire de Catherine Schütz-Zell (1498-1562): paroles féminines, discours sur les femmes dans le protestantisme (XVIe-XVIIe siècles): Actes de la journée d'études organisée le 29 octobre 1998 à la Faculté de Théologie Protestante par GRENEP," ed. Matthieu Arnold, published in Positions luthériennes 47 (1999), pp. 127-150.

"Katharina Schütz Zell and the 'Our Father'," in Oratio. Das Gebet in patristischer und reformatorischer Sicht [Festschrift für Alfred Schindler], ed. Emidio Campi, L. Grane, A. M. Ritter.  Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999, pp. 210-218. [German translation 2006]

"Katharina Schütz Zell (1498-1562)," in The Reformation Theologians, ed. Carter Lindberg.  Oxford: Blackwell, 2001, pp. 225-238.

"Reformed Worship in the Sixteenth Century," in Christian Worship in Reformed Churches Past and Present, ed. Lukas Vischer.  Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2003, pp. 3-31.

"Calvin and His Colleagues as Pastors: Some New Insights into the Collegial Ministry of Word and Sacraments," in Calvinus Praeceptor Ecclesiae. Papers of the International Congress on Calvin Research. Princeton, August 20-24, 2002, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis.  Geneva: Droz, 2004, pp. 9-42.

"Katharina Schütz Zell," in The Oxford History of Christian Worship, ed. Geoffrey Wainwright & Karen Westerfield Tucker.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 330-331.

"Katharina Schütz Zell and Caspar Schwenckfeld: A Reassessment of Their Relationship," Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 97 (2006), pp. 83-105.

"Teaching Katharina Schütz Zell (1498-1562)," in Teaching Other Voices. Women and Religion in Early Modern Europe, ed. Margaret King & Albert Rabil.  Chicago: University of Chicago, 2007, pp. 137-153.

"The Emergence of Lay Theologies," in Reformation Christianity, ed. Peter Matheson: Vol. 5 of The People's History of Christianity, gen. ed. Denis Janz.  Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007, pp. 212-231.

            "The Character and Significance of John Calvin's Teaching on Social and Economic Issues," in Calvin Rediscovered, ed. Edouard Dommen & James Bratt.  Princeton Studies in Reformed Theology and History.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007, pp. 3-24.

"A Lay Voice in Sixteenth-Century 'Ecumenics': Katharina Schütz Zell in Dialogue with Johannes Brenz, Conrad Pellican, and Caspar Schwenckfeld," in Adaptations of Calvinism in Reformation Europe: Essays in Honour of Brian G. Armstrong, ed. Mack P. Holt.  Ashgate, 2007, pp. 81-110.

            "Calvijns onderwijs in de vroomheid," Johannes Calvijn. zijn leven, zijn werk, ed. Willem Balke, J.C. Klok, Willem van 't Spijker.  Kampen: Kok, 2008, 319-320.

 "Calvin and Piety," in Calvin Handbook, ed. Herman Selderhuis.   Dutch: Kampen: Kok, 2008, 515-22.  German: Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 459-66.  English: Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009.

            "Calvin and Praying for 'All People Who Dwell on Earth,'" in Interpretation (April 2009), pp. 130-40.

"Calvin's Sermons: Treasure and Surprise," Pacifica: Australasian Theological Studies, 22:3 (Oct. 2009), 251-77.

"Johannes Calvins Lehre vom Diakonat," Calvinismus. Die Reformierten in Deutschland und Europa. Eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Historischen Museums Berlin und der Johannes A Lasco Bibliothek Emden, ed. Ansgar Reiss & Sabine Witt.  Dresden: Sandstein, 2009, pp. 344-50.

`"Lex Credendi"?  Katharina Schütz Zell's Prayers,' Bewegung und Beharrung. Aspekte des reformierten Protestantismus, 1520-1650. Festschrift für Emidio Campi, ed. Christian Moser & Peter Opitz et al.  Leiden : E. J. Brill, 2009, pp. 383-93.

            "Calvijn: Een Schets van zijn Leven en Werk," Calvijn en de Nederlanden, ed. Karla Apperloo-Boersma & Herman Selderhuis.  Apeldoorn: Instituut voor Reformatieonderzoek, 2009, pp. 110-124.

            "Places, Times, and People in Worship in Calvin's Geneva," Journal of the Institute for Christianity and Culture of the International Christian University #41, Tokyo, Japan, 2010, pp. 101-20.

"Jean Calvin," in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, ed. Daniel Patte.  New York/ Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 163-164.

            "John Calvin as Reformer of ''Spirituality'," in Calvin - Saint or Sinner?, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis.  Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010, pp. 307-23.

"Calvin Never Changed His Mind" - Or Did He? Evidence from the Young Reformer's Teaching on Prayer," in John Calvin: Myth and Reality, ed. Amy Nelson Burnett.  Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011, pp. 18-36.

            "Calvin's Day of Prayer: Origins, Nature, and Significance," in Calvin und Calvinismus - Europäische Perspektiven, ed. Irene Dingel & Herman Selderhuis. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011, pp. 315-32.

            "Martin Luther Through the Eyes of Katharina Schütz Zell," in Revisiting the Vineyard: Essays on Scott Hendrix's Thesis of the Reformation as Christianization, ed. Anna Marie Johnson and John A. Maxfield Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012, pp. 213-30.

            "Zell, Katharina Schütz," in Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters: A Historical and Biographical Guide, ed. Marion Ann Taylor, assoc. ed. Agnes Choi.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012, pp. 547-551.

            "Katharina Schütz Zell," in Lexikon der Reformatoren, ed. Irene Dingel & Volker Leppin.  Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, forthcoming.

Research in Progress 

Supplementa Calviniana, editor for volume of Calvin's manuscript sermons on 1 Corinthians, chapters 1-9.

Research on pastoral ministry and worship in Calvin's Geneva: book expected in 2014.

Selected Editorial Work, Consultations - North America & Europe

Governing Board Member, the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988-92; 1999-2002.

Editorial Board, The Sixteenth Century Journal, 1990-

Editorial Council, for Studies in Reformed Theology and History, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1991-2005.  General Editor, Princeton Studies in Reformed Theology and History, Westminster John Knox, 2006-

Editorial Board, Ad Fontes: the Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts, 2000-

Editorial Board for Reformed Theological History, gen. ed. Herman Selderhuis; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006-

International Congress for Calvin Research, Princeton, August 2002: Local arrangements chairperson.  Praesidium member, 2000-

International Bullinger Congress, August 2004: organizing committee/ participant.

            One of four international experts invited to evaluate the Theological Faculty of the University of Zurich, June 2013.

Selected Lectures: 

La Société du Musée Historique de la Réformation, May 1987 (lecture at annual meeting):  "L'interprétation de I Tim. 5:17 chez Calvin:  Une curiosité dans l'histoire de l'exégèse."

Third International Conference on Sixteenth Century Exegesis, Geneva, Aug. 31 - Sept. 2, 1988:  "Calvin, Discipline, and Exegesis:  Matt. 18:17 and I Cor. 5:3-5 in the Sixteenth Century."

University of Zurich, Theological Faculty, 24 June 1991: "Katharina Schütz Zell:  A Sixteenth-Century Reformer - Work-in-Progress."

"North American Regional Report [on the Renewal of Worship in Reformed Churches, Especially the Presbyterian Church (USA)]," Consultation on the Renewal of Worship sponsored by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Geneva, June 30-July 6, 1994.

"Katharina Schütz Zell (1498-1562): "Une réformatrice laïque parle." Key note lecture for Journée d'études: "A l'époque de Catherine Schütz-Zell (1498-1562): femmes de la Réforme, femmes dans les écrits de la Réforme."  Strasbourg, France, 29 Oct. 1998.

Alison Stewart Patterson Memorial Lectures, The Presbyterian College, McGill University, Montreal, Canada: "Partners in Ministry: Katharina Schütz and Matthew Zell in Reformation Strasbourg" 1) "Becoming a Lay Woman Reformer: The Life of Katharina Schütz Zell"  2) "Partnership as Ideal and Practice: the Zells' Pastoral and Preaching Ministries."  5 March 1998.

            Smyth Lectures, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, Oct. 13-15, 2009. Three lectures: 1) "Introducing Modern Calvin Studies:or Who was the 20th Century Calvin?"; 2) "Calvin the Pastor of Geneva: or A Week in the Life of the Reformer"; 3) "Calvin, Piety, and Providence"

"The Character and Significance of Calvin's Teaching on Social and Economic Issues," presented at a consultation entitled "The Impact of Calvin's Economic and Social Thought on Reformed Witness Today," sponsored by the John Knox Center, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, & the Theological Faculty of the University of Geneva; Geneva, Nov. 2-7, 2004.

            "Calvin as Reformer of Spirituality," at "Calvin: Saint or Sinner?" Conference at Putten, The Netherlands, sponsored by the Theological University of Apeldoorn, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2008.

            "Calvin's Day of Prayer: Origins, Nature, and Significance," at "Calvin und Calvinismus - Europäische Perspektiven, 25-28 June 2009," sponsored by the Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, and Institut für Reformationsgeschichte of the Theological University of Apeldoorn, NL.

Newberry Library Conference, Chicago, IL. Sept. 15, 2011: '"What Do You Hear in the Pew?" Some Notes on Calvin's First Corinthians Sermons by an Attentive Listener'

Reformation 500 (RefoRC - Research section) conference in Oslo, Norway, May 10, 2012 "Calvin Attends to His Hearers: Some Homiletical Evidence for Pastoral Accommodation" 

Global Activity: Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East: 


Dem. Rep. of Congo  Two short intensive courses (taught in French) for theology students of the Faculté de Théologie Réformée au Kasai, Kananga, Congo-Zaire; autumn 1995.

Cameroon  Dissertation director (of record) for Father Vincent Foutchantse, S.J. at the Faculté de Théologie Protestante de Yaoundé, Cameroon.  Title of Thesis: "Missiologie réformée et discipline ecclésiastique: La discipline ecclésiastique chez Calvin et son application dans quelques champs missionaires en Afrique."  soutenance, Yaoundé, 26 May 1998.



Seoul. 1998:  Participation in International Calvin Studies Congress, Seoul, Korea, 25-29 August

Seoul  2009   May 24 Lecture at Saemoonan Church, Dr. Soo-Young Lee, pastor: "A Week in Life of John Calvin"    May 25 Torch Trinity Sponsored by Duranno Mission/ Calvin Society:  "The First French Institutes: Calvin's Pastoral Voice"   May 26 Lecture at Presbyterian Seminary (Presby. Church of Korea) "Calvin's Sermons: Treasure and Surprise"  and preaching at chapel      May 27 Lecture at Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology: "Calvin the Preacher"  Host Prof. Jung-Sook Lee

Kwangju.  May 28 Honam Seminary (PCK seminary) Lecture:  "Calvin the Pastor" and preaching in chapel

Pusan   June 1, Lecture at Koshin College and Seminary, Pusan: "Calvin's Sermons: Treasure and Surprise"    June 2,   Lecture at Pusan Seminary (PCK seminary in Kyungnam): "Calvin and Prayer" and preaching in chapel


Tokyo 1998 Public lecture: "Diakonia: An Historical Introduction and Challenges to the Modern World," 1 Sept. 1998.

            Sendai   June 4: Tohoku Gahuin University, Dept of Christian Studies:  "A Month in the Life of John Calvin"  June 5: Chapel: Miyagi Girls' College, preaching in chapel.  Host Prof. Akira Demura

            Tokyo  June 6: Public lecture sponsored by publishers, afternoon: "Calvin the Evangelist - to the Ends of the Earth"   June 7: Preaching in University Church, Rev. Paul Johnson    June 8: International Christian University, Prof. Anri Morimoto: "A Month in the Life of John Calvin" (English)   June 9, 10:30-12:00 Tokyo Union Theological Seminary; Prof. Masami Kojiro:  "The First French Institutes: Calvin's Pastoral Voice"

            Kobe   June 9, Reformed Theological Seminary (in church):  "Calvin the Pastor" Host: the Rev. Takashi Yoshida

Taiwan May 2009

Hualien:  May 15  Yu-shan Theological Seminary: "Calvin's Biblical and Practical Understanding of Faith and Prayer"

Taipei: May 17, preaching at Taipei East-Gate Presbyterian, Rev. Lo Chun-gi

May 18-20, Five Mackay Lectures, Taiwan Theological Seminar on "Calvin and Spirituality"  1) "Introducing the Religious World of the Young John Calvin" 2) "Protestant Spirituality and Calvin the Young Reformer" 3) "Calvin's Biblical and Practical Understanding of Faith and Prayer" 4) "Corporate Worship and Liturgical Spirituality for Calvin"  5) "Calvin and the Living of Piety"

            Tainan:  May 21   Tainan Theological Seminary:  "Calvin's Biblical and Practical Understanding of Faith and Prayer"


Lebanon, Beirut:  Near East School of Theology June 29-July 1, 2009 Continuing Education Seminar: "The Relevance of Calvin for the Church Today"  Four lectures: 1) "(Re)Introducing Calvin the Pastor"; 2) "Calvin and the Legends"; 3) "Calvin and the Church"; 4) "Calvin's Social and Economic Teaching"


Australia   Melbourne: Theological College of the Uniting Church in Australia, Aug. 17-21, 2009 Lecture at College, Aug. 17: "Calvin and Prayer";  Public Lecture, Aug. 19, "A Month in the Life of Calvin"; Lecture at One-day Conference, Aug. 21, "Calvin's Sermons: Treasure & Surprise"  Also conversations with professors and students several days.

New Zealand Dunedin: Knox College, and University of Otago, Aug. 24-25 conferences. Two lectures: "Calvin the Preacher and Pastor" (public lecture); "The First French Institutes: Calvin's Pastoral Voice" (theological Faculty).

Other travel: Visits to churches and McGilvary Seminary, Bangkok and Chang Mai, Thailand, August 1998.