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Maryvale Welcomes Dr Catherine Knowles

New Director of
MA in Catholic Applied Theology
Programme Appointed

Maryvale House

Maryvale Institute is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Catherine Knowles as the newly-appointed Programme Director for the MA in Catholic Applied Theology programme (validated by The Open University), from 15th November 2021. In addition to having been a Researcher at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Greenwich, as well as Visiting Fellow at Plymouth Marjon University, Dr Knowles has worked across a range of Maryvale courses for many years, including as Lecturer, Research Supervisor and Dissertation Supervisor for the PhD, MA and B.Divinity programmes. Welcoming Dr Knowles, Institute Dean Dr Birute Briliute commended Dr Knowles as "a highly experienced and respected academic. Her appointment will enrich our Institute and continue to grow our provision."

Dr Catherine Knowles

Dr Knowles will be taking over from Dr Stephen Yates, who has led the MA programme since January 2000, having joined the institute in 1998. Dr Yates expressed "a great mixture of emotions" in making his decision to move on. He continued:

“I believe in its mission with my whole heart, and consider myself blessed to have played some part in this mission for the last twenty-three years. I am not leaving because any of this has changed, but because I have discerned that it is time for a new challenge [as a Mission Catechist with the Diocese of Shrewsbury].”
“During my time at Maryvale, I have been privileged to have met numerous, inspiring people. The staff and associate staff here are a committed, talented group of the faithful, and I consider myself fortunate to have known and worked with them. ”
As for the students with whom I have worked, I thank each of you for your passion for the faith, and your commitment to studying it so that you deepen your own relationship with the Lord and make him known to others. For those still studying on the MA, I ask for your prayers, and that you move forward enthusiastically with your studies under the continued care of the new Programme Director, and the other excellent staff here.

Dr Stephen Yates with graduates

Dr Yates went on to steep praise on the newly-elected Director:

“I extremely pleased that my successor is to be Dr Catherine Knowles. Like myself, Catherine is a graduate of the Maryvale MA Programme, and has been a member of the associate staff for the Bachelor in Divinity, the MA, and the Post-graduate Researcg programme for many years, teaching, tutoring, and supervising dissertations at all three levels. She brings a wealth of higher education experience to the post, is deeply familiar with the ethos and methodology of the Institute, and has a real heart for Maryvale students. Her appointment ensures both continuity and development for the MA, and will further strengthen the research culture which has developed at Maryvale.”

With Dr Knowles beginning her post in November 2021 and Dr Yates not departing until January 2022, the MA programme will benefit from a solid handover period, to ensure continuity and stability for its students, both current and new. Furthermore, Dr Yates will continue to be involved in the programme as a member of Associate State, both as a lecturer and tutor.

Maryvale Dean, Dr Briliute, praised Dr Yates' longstanding commitment and unstinting service to the institute, adding "a highly valued colleague and friend, Stephen will be missed by all of us and we wish him all the best in his new post."

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