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Lee McGee Street Papers

Call Number: RG 229

Scope and Contents

This collection contains valuable materials collected by Lee McGee Street documenting her ordination to the Episcopal priesthood, as well as writings and correspondence regarding the role of women in the church.

Series I, Writings and Interviews is comprised of manuscripts, notes, articles, and sermons written by Lee McGee, as well as interviews with her, including audiotapes of an interview conducted for the Women's History Project at Yale Divinity School.

Series II, Ordination Documentation contains writings and correspondence regarding Lee McGee's decision to seek ordination, the ordination ceremony, and the events that took place following the "irregular" ordination. The Files by Person are comprised of correspondence, writings, and news clippings pertaining to individuals who were involved with the ordination, including the bishop who performed the ceremony and some of the other women who were ordained at the same time as Lee McGee. The files arranged alphabetically. There is an extensive collection of news clippings describing the events leading up to the ordination, the ordination ceremony, and subsequent events related to the role of women in the church.

Series III, Writings by Others includes collected manuscripts, addresses, lectures, and sermons primarily about the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Series IV, Conferences contains collected materials from conferences attended by Lee McGee Street.

Series V, Collected Publications includes newsletters, periodicals, and articles pertaining to the role of women in church leadership.

Series VI, Photographs and Memorabilia contains photographs and memorabilia. Of special interest is a group of photographs documenting the Lee McGee's ordination on September 7, 1975 at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church.


  • 1968-2010


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lee McGee Street, 2011


  1. I. Writings and Interviews of Lee McGee Street, 1973-2010
  2. II. Ordination Documentation, 1970-2010
  3. III. Writings by Others, 1970-2011
  4. IV. Conferences, 1973-2006
  5. V. Collected Publications, 1971-1992
  6. VI. Photographs and Memorabilia, 1971-1999


3.5 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


This collection is comprised of writings, correspondence, news clippings, and photographs documenting the life and work of Eleanor "Lee" McGee, including her ordination to the Episcopal priesthood on September 7, 1975. Lee McGee was one of the first women ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church and an early female faculty member at Yale Divinity School, serving from 1987 to 1997 as Squire Professor of Pastoral Counseling. Her career spans a variety of work in college chaplaincy, parish ministry, teaching social work, psychotherapy, consulting and parenthood. This collection provides valuable documentation of the changing role of women in the church.

Biographical / Historical

1943 Aug 24
Eleanor Lee Hofmann was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Graduated with B.A, Magna Cum Laude, from Maryland State College and entered Yale Divinity School
Struck by rare eye disease of genetic origin, which rendered her permanently legally blind
Married the Rev. Kyle M. McGee; the McGees had two sons
Graduated from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Arts in Religion. Spent one year at University of Edinburgh.
Moved with family to Washington, D.C. where she became a chaplain at American University.
First female chaplain and assistant director of Campus Ministry at American University’s multi-denominational Kay Spiritual Life Center.
Ordained a Deacon in the Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of Washington
Irregularly ordained to the Priesthood of the Episcopal Church, by the Right Rev. George Barrett, at St. Stephen and The Incarnation Church in Washington, D.C.
McGee’s ordination was “regularized” by Bishop Creighton following the September 16, 1976 vote by the General Convention which determined that ordination to the order of bishop, priest and deacon “shall be equally applicable to men and women”.
Completed a clinical Masters of Social Work at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Moved with her family to Hartford, CT, where she worked as a priest and social worker with the chronically mentally ill, at soup kitchens and shelters
Began teaching preaching part time at Yale Divinity School
Served as the Roger J. Squire Chair in Pastoral Counseling, Yale Divinity School.
Marriage to the Rev. Kyle McGee ended
The Eleanor Lee McGee and Gaylord Brewster Noyce Endowment in Pastoral Ministries was established at Yale Divinity School through generous gifts from the estates of Almon Elizur Hall and Amy Ericson Hall. The Endowment honors two Divinity faculty members who have made noteworthy contributions to student preparation for pastoral ministries.
Published Wrestling with the Patriarchs : Retrieving Women's Voices in Preaching with Thomas H. Troeger, Abingdon Press
After retirement from YDS, lectured in England and the U.S. and led conferences on preaching, discernment, and Christian spirituality
Eleanor Lee McGee Prize was established by the Berkeley Divinity School Graduate Society
Married the Rev. C. Parke Street ’60 B.D
Returned to New Haven with her husband after 10 years on a ranch in Colorado.
Guide to the Lee McGee Street Papers
Compiled by Kristen G. Albert
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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