The goal of the Center for Writing and Academic Support is to help students at the Divinity School master core theological concepts and write well.

We offer an array of tutoring services—which can be booked via the center’s Sakai site—such as meetings with:

  • writing tutors, who can read students’ papers and offer both written and verbal feedback.
  • subject-area tutors in church history, biblical studies, theology and Christian ethics who can discuss course readings, assignments, and help students better understand key concepts.
  • advisors who can help students with effective study and reading strategies, as well as map out an ongoing program of academic support advancing student-specific goals

​The center also organizes:

  • RISE—a two-day program that orients students to academic skills and expectations at the school.
  • The Writing Assessment—a mandatory essay assignment for students in the M.A., M.T.S., and M.Div. programs that provides an opportunity to practice and receive feedback on an academic paper.

Appointments at the Writing Center are now made online through Sakai.

Learn how to make an appointment on the Divinity School Intranet (NetID required).


Cullen McKenny headshot
Cullen McKenney
Director of the Center for Writing and Academic Support

Cullen McKenney holds a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham, UK. His research—supported by Durham University's Centre for Catholic Studies—focuses on theology, culture, and poetry in the Middle Ages by examining the forms of ecclesiology that emerge through William Langland’s Piers Plowman. Following his time in England, he returned to Duke Divinity as both a tutor and a preceptor teaching a wide range of courses including church history, theology, Christian ethics, and American Christianity. Having also served in a variety of church contexts, he is particularly interested in the ways that reading and writing well are vital skills for fruitful ministry.