About - Maryvale Institute

Academic staff profiles

Academic Staff

(Click on staff member's name for biography and email contact form.)


Fr Edward Clare is a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and was appointed to his present position by Archbishop Bernard Longley in 2013, having previously held the part-time role of Director of Parish and Family Catechesis.

He has studied at the University of Edinburgh, Oscott College and the Gregorian and Lateran Universities in Rome, completing a Licence in moral theology in 1996.

His diocesan appointments have included five years at the University of Wolverhampton as Catholic chaplain and lecturer in Applied Theology, eight years as Vocations Director and a total of seven years’ service as Parish Priest in St Patrick’s, Birmingham and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Redditch. He teaches on a variety of Maryvale’s catechetical courses, and is an external lecturer at Oscott College, the diocesan seminary.


Research interests

  • Catholic Identity
  • Hermeneutic – communicative module of education in RE and catechesis.
  • Contemporary Catholic theology of forgiveness and reconciliation
  • Catholic theology of persecution/martyrdom
  • Values Education
  • Catholic Family Education

Recent publications:

  • "Catechism of the Catholic Church and Laudato Si'" (to be published in 2016). B. Briliute.
  • "Theologising and Philosophising with Children and Young People: Towards a New Paradigm in RE", (2010), B. Briliute and A. Karaliute, in E. Osewska and J. Stala (eds.) book "Religious Education in the Family: European Perspective". Warszawa, pp. 47-62. (Chapter in the Book).
  • "Search for Spirituality and Identity in Post-communist Lithuania", (2009), in Bert Roebben and Michael Warren, "Religious Education as Practical Theology", MTC, Kaunas - Leuven, pp. 42-60 (Chapter in the book).
  • "Society beyond ‘Modernity’ and Change of Relationship between Schools and Society: Implications for Learning and Teaching" (2007), in Herman Lombaerts "Leadership and Management of Catholic Schools", MTC, Kaunas – Malta, pp. 12-23, (Chapter in the book).
  • "Pilot Study on Religious Identity and How it Correlates with Other Dimensions of Social Life in Transformation" (2007) in "Soter", 11 (39), Kaunas, pp. 47-82 (Peer reviewed journal article).

Other Publications:

  • Books : “Our Father” (2009), Catholic Prayer book for children, MTC, Kaunas.
  • “Christianity in Post-modern World” (2008), B. Briliute and A. Saulaitis SJ, manual for RS (UG) students, Kaunas: MTC, Lithuania.
  • "God the Savior” (2001), B. Briliute and O. Mikailaite, manual for pupils of secondary school, grade 8, TKK, Kaunas.
  • “Nation of God” (1997), catechetical textbook for grade 6, TKK, Kaunas.
  • “Our Father” (1994), catechetical textbook for grade 3, TKK, Kaunas.
  • “Jesus Christ Yesterday and Today” (1996), catechetical textbook for grade 9, TKK, Kaunas.
  • “God the Saviour” (1993), Religious activity book for grade 7, TKK, Kaunas.
  • “Our Father” (1993), Religious activity book for grade 4, TKK, Kaunas.
  • “God Loves Me” (1992), catechetical textbook for grade 2, KP, Vilnius.

Memberships and current research:

  • A team member of the researchers working on the international research project “Enhancement of Catholic Identity of the Catholic Schools (England and Wales)”, since 2013 to date.
  • A member of the team of the organizers of the on-going international professional enrichment leave for the Australian principals of the Catholic schools. (Under auspices and supervision of Prof. D. Pollefeyt, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium), since 2008 to date.
  • A member of The Catholic Theological Association (GB), since 2007 to date.
  • A member of The European Association of Catholic Theology, since 2012 to date.


Marie has been involved with Maryvale for twenty years – first as student, then as associate staff. She has a professional background in youth ministry and project management and wide experience of parish catechesis and work for social justice. In 2015, Marie gained her PhD from the University of Glasgow in recognition of her thesis entitled "'Trimming their lamps', an analysis and investigation of the participation of women in the Catholic Church in the Anglosphere since the Second Vatican Council".


Fr Michael Cullinan is the Director of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences at Maryvale and has been Director of the B.Div. Programme since November 2013, before which he was its Academic Director. He joined the full-time staff in 2009 as Director of the B.A. (Div.) Programme having been an academic tutor and lecturer at Maryvale from 1995.

Fr Michael gained an STL in moral theology from the Angelicum in Rome in 2002 and defended his Doctorate at the Alfonsianum in 2005 summa cum laude. He has spoken at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting and lectured at the International Theological Institute in Austria.

Fr Michael is a priest of the Diocese of Westminster. Ordained in 1995, he served in the parishes of Holy Trinity, Brook Green and St James’s Spanish Place and then went to Rome for further studies in 2000, living at the Pontifical Portuguese College.

Fr Michael comes from Torquay in Devon, where he grew up and went to school. His first career was as a mathematician, reading mathematics at Balliol College, Oxford from 1975 to 1978, and then going to Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he did a Ph.D. in numerical analysis. After academic posts at the University of Salford and Dublin City University, he entered Allen Hall Seminary in 1988 gaining an external Leuven STB summa cum laude in 1995.


Canon Evans was appointed as Course Director in Philosophy in the Catholic Tradition in February 2014. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, a member of the Metropolitan Chapter and of the Metropolitan Tribunal. After studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he was awarded a PhL summa cum laude, he served as a curate at St Mary’s the Mount, Walsall, when he was also chaplain to St Thomas More RC Comprehensive School. He became curate at St Aloysius, Oxford, two years later, before becoming lecturer in philosophy at Oscott College, the diocesan seminary. In the eighteen years he was there, he assisted at the weekends at St John Fisher, West Heath, Birmingham. He was dean of studies and vice rector. He co-ordinated the Oscott-Queen’s Joint Course on the Eucharist. He became secretary to the Bishops’ Conference Committee for Faith and Culture.

In 2001, Canon Evans was appointed parish priest of St Austin’s, Stafford. While there he became a member of English ARC From 2001-2006, he was episcopal vicar for Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Coventry. He undertook postgraduate research at Liverpool Hope University for a thesis entitled Wonder, Encounter and Wisdom. Laying the Foundations of Pastoral Philosophy. He served as parish priest of St Teresa’s, Charlbury and is a Member of Council at Newman University. He was appointed chair of the Diocesan Committee for the Year of Faith. His research interests are in metaphysics and epistemology, the history of philosophy, and the authors Ludwig Wittgenstein, Maurice Blondel and Edith Stein. He continues to be concerned with ecumenical dialogue, the dialogue with culture and with atheism, and with the philosophical aspects of preaching the gospel.


Fr Marcus Holden is the director for the MA pathway in Apologetics. He has been in this current role since 2013 and has been a lecturer, tutor and course book writer at Maryvale since 2008.

He holds a Master degree in Theology from Oxford University and ecclesiastical Baccalaureate and Licentiate degrees in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. Since 2013 he has been external examiner for the Theology Masters degree at St Mary's University, Strawberry Hill.

He is parish priest of Ramsgate and Minster and Rector of Pugin's Abbey Shrine of St Augustine. He is co-founder of the Evangelium Project, St Anthony Communications and the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.

He is author of many articles and publications including Saints of the English Calendar (2005), the Evangelium Course (2007), the Why Course (2012). He often represents the Catholic Church for local and national media and has co-presented several historical and catechetical film documentaries.


Nichola has been part of Maryvale Institute for over 23 years, first as a student and then for the last 14 years as a member of the academic staff. Nichola is in the Order of Consecrated Virgins and has been serving the Church for the last 26 years after a long period in the world of horses.

At Maryvale Nichola began as Director of the Evangelisation and Ministry Course and also developed a strategy for evangelisation which she introduced into many parishes in the archdiocese and presented in another Diocese.

She now works part-time at Maryvale, mostly in parishes looking at the ‘Parish as a School of Prayer’ and the New Evangelisation. Nichola is also deeply involved at her home in Hilton where a House of Prayer is up, running and constantly developing.


A school teacher by profession, Mary completed an STB at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland. She then went on to complete an STL at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome where she is currently enrolled for the completion of her doctorate.


Mary began her studies with a degree in Modern History at Cambridge University and then moved to study Divinity at London University in 1982. Her doctoral work dealt with Jesus as wonderworker in the setting of late antiquity however she subsequently moved to teaching and researching Old Testament texts. She has lectured in three Catholic Higher Education Institutes as well as in two Seminaries. She came to be associated with Maryvale Institute through the link with Liverpool Hope University while she was Head of Department there.

She has given numerous talks and study days in Parishes and in adult theological education contexts as well as publishing a number of books. These include a recently published introduction to the Book of Jeremiah and the Third Edition of a study guide on Joshua to Kings.


Paul is a qualified Youth and Community Worker and a professional practice tutor with the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission in Nottingham. He studied on the Parish Catechesis and Applied Theology course at Maryvale between 1999-2001 and has been a marker on the CNEM Youth pathway.

Paul's work with young people and adults frequently touches on Catholic spirituality and prayer, and a priority for him in this role will be to encourage good formation in prayer which he sees as being essential to conversion and discipleship. Paul has written a short Grove booklet on young people and prayer (Timeless Approaches to Prayer), co-leads a youth retreat called Breathe, and is a contributor to ROOTS magazine.

He and his wife, Joanne, are oblates at St Mary's Abbey, Colwich.


Natalie is a National Speaker for Catholic Voices and is actively involved in many aspects of Parish life. She has run a parish youth group for a number of years and also children’s liturgy. Natalie is passionate about empowering and enabling Catholics to proclaim their faith.

Prior to joining the Maryvale team she was an assistant psychologist providing individual and group therapy and for over 14 years was a Detention Officer for West Midlands Police.


Having studied Theology at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, Lianne spent 12 years as a business manager for a large retail firm, before returning to her theology roots after the birth of her twins. Prior to her appointment as the Diocesan Family Ministry Project Worker, Lianne was employed by her parish as a Pastoral Assistant for 8 years. Aside from her paid role, she is actively involved in other aspects of parish life and has been a member of the choir for 26 years.

Family is the foundation of the world we live in and regardless of what stage we are at within our own families I hope to be able to offer support and guidance to encourage Christ to be at the heart of every family.


Stephen obtained a first class honours degree in philosophy from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne before training as a primary school teacher. Between 1992 and 1998 he taught at St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Little Hulton, Manchester.

From 1995-1998 he studied on the Masters Programme in Religious Education and Catechetics at the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, graduating with Distinction. In September 1998, Stephen moved to Birmingham and began working for Maryvale full-time in the role of Archdiocesan In-Service Coordinator for Religious, Moral and Spiritual Formation.

In January 2000 he became Programme Director for Maryvale’s distance learning MA Programme as well as Director of the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies, a basic theology course for teachers in Catholic schools.

Stephen has taught a wide variety of subjects across Maryvale’s programmes, at both FE and HE level, has written a number of distance-learning course texts for both CCRS and MA Programmes in the areas of Religious Education, Catechesis, and Educational Leadership, and has edited many works used on the MA Programme, particularly in the areas of catechesis and spiritual theology.

In 2013, he obtained his doctorate in theology from Liverpool Hope University for a thesis entitled Recent Catholic Debate Concerning the Intermediate State: an Analysis and Critical Response. His current research interests include: philosophical accounts of identity through death and resurrection, Catholicism and evolution, and the doctrine of hell. Stephen has recently been appointed external examiner for the BA/BSc in Theology and Religious Studies at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He is husband to Ruth and father to Joseph, Maria, Raphael, Elizabeth, Gabriel and Benedict.

Stephen's latest research, Between Death and Resurrection: A Critical Response to Recent Catholic Debate Concerning the Intermediate State was published by Bloomsbury in 2017.


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