About - Maryvale Institute
Academic staff profiles
Academic staff profiles
(Click on staff member's name for biography and email contact form.)
Dr Birute Briliute M.A. S.T.L. Ph.D
Responsibilities: Dean of Maryvale Institute, Director of Postgraduate Research Programme, Programme Director of Licence in Catechetics, Pathway Leader of Licence in Catechetics, HIRS Council Permanent Faculty
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118
Dr Briliute was appointed Dean of Maryvale Institute in January 2020.
Academic support materials:
Catechetical & Religious Education textbooks:
Memberships and current research:
Dr Keith Chappell BA, BSc, MTh, PhD, DPhil, FHEA, MRSB
Responsibilities: Pathway Leader for Apologetics on the MA in Catholic Applied Theology programme
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118
Dr Keith Chappell is Pathway Leader for Apologetics on the MA Programme as well as being the academic tutor for the modules Catholic Social Thought (on the Faith and Culture pathway) and Catholicism and Contemporary Currents of Spirituality (on the pathway in Spirituality). Dr Chappell has taught for many years on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Maryvale, and supervises and examines doctoral work.
He holds undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees and doctorates in both theology and biology. From 2013-2015 he was Teaching Fellow in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Reading; from 2015-2017 he was a researcher for the Learning About Science and Religion Project at the same university, and since March 2015 has been a Research Fellow in Science and Religion at Canterbury Christchurch University.
Recent relevant publications include:
Rev Dr Michael Cullinan M.A., Ph.D., S.T.D.
Responsibilities: Director of Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences. Director B.Divinity.
Telephone: 0121 360 8118 Ext 151
Fr Michael Cullinan is the Director of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences (HIRS) at Maryvale and Director of the B.Div. Programme. He has been part of the Maryvale academic staff since 1995 and full-time since 2009, when he became Director of the B.A. (Div.) Programme. He has been Director of the B.Div. Programme since November 2013, before which he was its Academic Director from its inception in 2011.
Fr Michael is a priest of the Diocese of Westminster, ordained in 1995. He gained an external STB from Leuven in 1994 summa cum laude. After serving in the parishes of Holy Trinity, Brook Green and St James’s Spanish Place he went to Rome for further studies in 2000, living at the Pontifical Portuguese College. He 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. His dissertation was selected for publication by the Alfonsianum in its series Tesi Accademia Alfonsiana.
As a moral theologian specialising in the ethical teaching of St Paul, Fr Michael has spoken at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, at the Catholic Theological Association, at the 2016 Sacra Liturgia Conference and lectured at the International Theological Institute in Austria. He is also a member of the Association of Teachers of Moral Theology.
His publications include:
His lectures and knowledge dissemination include:
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. He held academic posts at the University of Salford and Dublin City University before entered Allen Hall Seminary in 1988. His interest in mathematics remains and in 2017 he gave an invited paper at the Conference on Approximation and Optimization: Algorithms, Complexity, and Applications in Athens.
Bp David Evans S.T.B., Ph.L.
Responsibilities: BA (Hons) Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition: Consultant and Lecturer; HIRS Council Permanent Faculty.
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118
Bishop David was Course Director for the BA (Hons) Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition programme between 2014 and 2020. Since becomeing Auxiliary Bishop, serving the Archdiocese of Birmingham, Bishop David continues his association with Maryvale as a consultant and lecturer on the Philosophy Course, in addition to being a member of the Higher Institute of Religous Sciences Council permanent faculty. Within the archdiocese, he is also 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 has more lately been parish priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Rednal. 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.
Michael Hodgetts MA (Oxon), PhL.
Responsibilities: HIRS Council Non-Permanent Faculty, Reader in Ecclesiastical History, Lecturer
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118
In addition to being a member of the HIRS Council (non-permanent faculty) at Maryvale, Mr Hodgetts is a regular lecturer on the Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity and Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy & the Catholic Tradition courses, specialising particularly in ecclesiastical history and history of philosophy.
Outside of Maryvale, Mr Hodgetts is Historical Director at Harvington Hall and is a prolific author of books and articles, his latest research being Midland Martyrs, 1580-1680, published by the Archdiocese of Birmingham Historical Commission in 2018. Other publications include:
Mary Killeen STB, STL
Responsibilities: Programme Director of FE Courses, Director of Marriage & Family
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118 Ext 152
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.
Rev Dr Robert Letellier LSS, STD, MA, MLitt, BPhil, PhD, Dip. Elève Titulaire
Responsibilities: HIRS Council Permanent Faculty, Lecturer, Academic Tutor
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118
Rev Dr Robert Ignatius Letellier was educated in Grahamstown, Cambridge, Salzburg, Rome (the Gregorian University, the Biblical Institute) and Jerusalem (the Ecole Biblique). He is a member of Trinity College (Cambridge), the Salzburg Centre for Research in the Early English Novel (University of Salzburg), the Maryvale Institute (Birmingham), and the teaching panel of the Institute for Continuing Education at Madingley Hall (Cambridge).
From 1993 he has been a lecturer in Sacred Scripture at the Maryvale Institiute. In 2010, with Maryvale accredited Pontifical status (an Ecclesiastical Institute of Religious Sciences), he was appointed to the Scripture Faculty. Apart from introducing the Old and New Testaments, his lectures there have included courses on the Bible and music, art and the historico-geographical contexts of the Holy Land. He also teaches for the Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge. He began lecturing at Madingley Hall in 2004, since when he has presented some 30 courses in music, literature and cultural history.
His publications number over 100 items, including 10 books on the Bible (Creation, Abraham, the Bible as Revelatory Word, the Bible as Oracular Word, the Bible and Art, the Bible and Music, the Bible and Covenant, Sunday and Festal Sermons). He has also produced books and articles on the English novel (particularly the Gothic Novel and Sir Walter Scott), and European culture. Here he has specialized in the Romantic opera, especially the work of Giacomo Meyerbeer (an English edition of his diaries, studies of his operas), Daniel-François-Esprit Auber and the opéra-comique, and Ludwig Minkus and the Romantic Ballet.
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.
Rev Dr Martin Onuoha HND Mass Comunication, B.Th., S.T.L., S.T.D, BPhil.
Responsibilities: HIRS Council Permanent Faculty, Lecturer in Dogmatic Theology
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118
Fr Martin has been a lecturer, tutor, and examiner to the Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity students at Maryvale Institute since 2013. In 2014, with the approval of Faculté Nôtre-Dame, Paris, who oversees Maryvale’s Pontifical status, he was appointed to the dogmatic theology faculty of the Institute as one of the HIRS (Higher Institute of Religious Studies) Council permanent faculty. He lectures mainly in Mariology, Ecclesiology, Creation, Fall, and Redemption while assisting in other areas of theology.
He holds a doctorate (2013) and a Licence (2008) in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, with dissertations on the Writings of Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), both of which were awarded Summa cum laude. He also holds, from the Pontifical Urbanian University Rome, a Bachelor of Theology (Magna cum laude, 2001), Bachelor of Philosophy (Summa cum laude, 1996), and a Diploma in Latin (1989). In 1999, he obtained a Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from Enugu State University of Science & Technology.
He has had prior teaching experience in the seminary and equally had six years of experience working as assistant registrar and undergraduate and graduate assistant to the academic Deans of philosophy and theology faculties. Aided by his studies in Mass Communication and interest in Evangelization, he was the founding editor of a Catholic magazine in Nigeria and served as its editor-in-chief twice. While in Nigeria (where he was ordained, after training for the priesthood at Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu), he co-headed the Apostolic Union of the clergy in his home diocese of Ahiara, coordinating retreats, seminars, and on-going formation for priests. He has also given lectures, talks, and retreats to universities and colleges and the clergy, religious, and laity in Nigeria, Italy, Germany, and England.
His work history includes serving as a parish priest, associate pastor, supply priest, and school governor in Nigeria, Italy, the USA, and the United Kingdom. He has recently moved from Holy Angels’ parish in Hale Barns, where he served as Parochial administrator and chaplain of St Ambrose college, to Stockport, where he is looking after the parishes of Our Lady and the Apostles, St Ambrose, and St Vincent, and supporting Aquinas College and St James High School.
Natalie Orefice MA, BSc (Hons) Psychology
Responsibilities: Advisor on Parish Evangelisation
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.
Responsibilities: Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118 Ext 166
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 Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator, 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.
Deacon Dr Harry Schnitker MA Edinburgh, PhD Edinburgh
Responsibilities: Director, St John Henry Newman Centre; Programme Director, BA (Hons) Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition
Telephone: 0121 360 8118
I am the Director of the new Research Centre for Pastoral Theology at Maryvale, in which role I develop Maryvale outreach to Catholic academic community and individual Catholic scholars. The Centre organises conferences, aims to publish academic titles and serves as a think tank on all matters relating to the Church. In addition, I supervise PhD research students and am a member of Maryvale's Research Committee, and the Programme Director for the BA (Hons) Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition course and teach Church History on the B.Divinity Programme.
I obtained my PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2007, and have taught there and at the University of Glasgow. My PhD focussed on the religious and cultural exchanges between England and the Continent at the end of the Middle Ages.
Most of my research is multi-disciplinary, incorporating history, history of art, literature, theology and anthropology. I am particularly interested in structures, cultural transmission and encounters and in the narratives that flow from these.
My fields of research are as follows:
I have just completed a book on the role of the Catholic Duchesses of Perth in the Jacobite period and am currently working on the life of St Elizabeth Hesselblad, who re-invigorated the Bridgettine Order.
Stephen Yates BA(Hons), PGCE, MEd, PhD
Responsibilities: Programme Director MA in Catholic Applied Theology, Pathway Leader MA in Faith and Culture, Pathway Leader MA in Religious Education and Catechesis, Pathway Leader MA in Spirituality.
Telephone: +44 (0)121 360 8118 Ext 144
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.