Welcome to the Center for Writing and Learning Support at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary! We provide direct writing and learning support for all students in a constructive and enriching atmosphere. The CWLS also works collaboratively with the Office of Continuing Education to develop programs for ministers and other community leaders for both personal enrichment and vocational support. Additionally, we extend writing support to faculty. We are committed to assisting theological writers at every stage—not only as they seek excellence in their academic writing, but also as they endeavor to write for audiences beyond the academy.

The Challenge and Reward of Theological Writing

It is extremely difficult to write theology well. The main reason I can’t write it is that . . . I don’t know precisely what I want to say, and therefore when I start to write I find that I am working out a theology as I go. - Thomas Merton, Sign of Jonas (1953)

Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist monk, writer, priest, theologian, and mystic, captures exceptionally well the challenge of theological writing for most of us in theology and ministry, whether we are students just beginning to study, practitioners with years of ministerial experience, or scholars who have written numerous books. Writing is a demanding, often murky undertaking, but an attentive writing practice offers the great reward of discovering what we know and feel about God, the world, our neighbors, and ourselves. Theological writing is well worth the challenge!

How We Can Assist You

The CWLS offers a number of services for students, faculty, ministers, and community leaders. For students, these include individual and small group consultations both online and in-person, writing workshops about general writing issues or those particular to a specific class assignment, handouts on aspects of the writing process, links to helpful websites and bibliographic resources, bi-monthly Writers’ Gatherings, and much more. For faculty, these include consultations on professional writing projects and workshops focusing on student writing support. For others in the community, our services include writing workshops and conferences on theological and spiritual writing in a variety of genres and for different contexts and audiences. Please see our Available Services page for details about all we provide and the ways you can request a workshop or schedule an individual consultation to support you in your writing practice.

Contact Information and Location

For more information, contact Shan Overton, director of the Center for Writing and Learning Support, by e-mail at moverton@pts.edu or by phone at 412-924-1454. Or, if you are on campus, feel free to drop by the CWLS Office at Long Hall 219.