Core Team
Dr Paul Coulter, Director
Michael Shaw, Deputy Director

Paul lives in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, with his wife and two children.  He is Head of Ministry Operations for Living Leadership

Michael lives in Belfast with his wife, Lauren.  He serves as the Associate Pastor at Strandtown Baptist Church.

Rachel Shields, Deputy Director

Rachel lives outside Belfast with her husband John.  She is a part-time student in theology.

Paul's original professional background is as a medic.  He started his working life in hospitals and a hospice before leaving  medicine to work with churches in NI as a youth worker and pastor-teacher within his own culture and across cultures.  More recently he was a lecturer in practical theology and missiology and he continues to be involved in academic work in these areas.  His work with Living Leadership involves training and supporting Christian leaders across the UK and beyond.


Paul holds primary degrees in medical genetics and medicine, an MA and a PhD in theology, and a post-graduate certificate in higher education teaching.  In his spare time he enjoys cycling, walking and reading historical novels.


For more about Paul visit his personal website:

Michael previously worked as a Broadcast Journalist at the BBC in Belfast and as a Media Manager at Procter and Gamble in London.


He holds degrees in Theology from Oxford University and in Law from Durham University. 


Michael is passionate about gospel-centred Bible teaching and apologetics.

Although born in the UK, Rachel spent her childhood in the States and Canada before emigrating to Edinburgh, Scotland to study nursing. Following her marriage to John and the subsequent birth of their four children, Rachel experienced a sudden conversion to faith in Christ. She spent the following years raising her family and studying theology at Belfast Bible College and Cornhill, Belfast.  


Rachel is currently pursuing post-graduate work at St Andrew’s University, studying the interface between Christian faith and contemporary culture. Last year she joined the adjunct faculty at Belfast Bible College, teaching John’s Gospel to the Women’s Study Fellowship. Her other interests include conversational apologetics and reading

© 2020, Centre for Christianity in Society

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