PTS Names Director of New Center for Writing and Learning Support

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is pleased to name Dr. Mary O’Shan (Shan) Overton as the director of the new Center for Writing and Learning Support.

“The Center for Writing and Learning support will provide a great resource for students, faculty, and the broader community. Dr. Overton has taught writing to a wide range of individuals—from college and seminary students to parochial school teachers and doctoral students in theology—and has worked directly with faculty on pedagogical approaches to teaching and writing in coursework. We’re excited about the insight and leadership she’ll bring to the Center and to the Seminary,” said the Rev. Dr. David Esterline, president and professor of cross-cultural theological education at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Overton graduated from Boston College (PhD), Vanderbilt University Divinity School (MDiv), Middle Tennessee State University (MA), and University of Tennessee (BA, summa cum laude). Her doctoral dissertation addressed the teaching of writing in theological education. “My research and writing are aimed at creating new ways for theological educators to assist students in working across cultures, disciples, and fields in order to construct effective prophetic and pastoral voices for a wide range of public lay and ordained ministries in their communities and around the world,” said Overton.

Overton has authored a number of published works and presented on theology and writing. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, Association of Practical Theology, Religious Education Association, and Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and has served the Episcopal Church through various committees. 

Overton’s most recent teaching and administrative experience includes serving as adjunct professor at Volunteer State Community College (Gallatin, Tenn.). Previously she was interim head chaplain and chair of the Religious Studies Department at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School (Atlanta, Ga.), writing tutor and instructor at Vanderbilt University Divinity School (Nashville, Tenn.), and instructor at Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). She also held various writing positions at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.). She’ll begin her work at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in June 2017.