Paula Gooder (born 1969) is a British theologian and Anglican lay reader, who specialises in the New Testament. She is Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral. She has previously taught at two theological colleges, Ripon College Cuddesdon and The Queen's Foundation, served as Theologian in Residence for the Bible Society (2013–2017), and as Director of Mission, Learning and Development in the Diocese of Birmingham (2017–2018). She is a freelance writer and speaker.

Early life and education

Gooder was born in 1969 in Manchester, England.[1] From 1988 to 1992, she studied theology at Worcester College, Oxford, graduating with a first class Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.[2] She completed her Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree at The Queen's College, Oxford in 1998.[2] Her doctoral thesis was titled "Only the third heaven?: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and heavenly ascent".[3]


From 1995 to 2001, Gooder was a tutor in Biblical Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college near Oxford.[2][4] She then taught at The Queen's Foundation, an ecumenical theological college in Birmingham, while attending conferences or giving lectures independently.[4] She left The Queen's Foundation in 2007 to become a full-time freelance writer and lecturer.[2] From September 2013 to 2017, she was Theologian in Residence for the Bible Society:[5] this became a full-time role in 2016.[2] In March 2017, she joined the Church of England Diocese of Birmingham as Director of Mission, Learning and Development.[6] In October 2018, it was announced she would be leaving her role in the Diocese of Birmingham to return to freelance work.[7] In February 2019, it was announced that Gooder would be the next chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral in the Diocese of London; she was licensed to the post on 23 February 2019.[8]

Church of England

Gooder is a reader (lay minister) in the Church of England.[2] From 2005 to 2015, she was an elected member of the General Synod of the Church of England.[2] Since 2011, she has been a member of the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission.[2][9]

Selected works

  • Gooder, Paula (2006). Only the third heaven?: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and heavenly ascent. London: T & T Clark. ISBN 978-0567042446.
  • Gooder, Paula (2008). Searching for Meaning: An Introduction to Interpreting the New Testament. London: SPCK Publishing. ISBN 978-0281058358.
  • Gooder, Paula (2008). The Meaning is in the Waiting: The Spirit of Advent. Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1853119088.
  • Rowling, Cathy; Gooder, Paula (2009). Reader ministry explored. London: SPCK Publishing. ISBN 978-0281067404.
  • Gooder, Paula (2011). Heaven. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281062348.
  • Gooder, Paula (2012). Everyday God: The Spirit of the Ordinary. Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1848251168.
  • Croft, Steven; Gooder, Paula, eds. (2013). Women and Men in Scripture and the Church: A guide to the key issues. Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1848255104.
  • Gooder, Paula (2014). Journey to the Empty Tomb (Biblical Explorations). Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1848255715.
  • Gooder, Paula (2015). Journey to the Manger: Exploring the Birth of Jesus (Biblical Explorations). Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1848257948.
  • Gooder, Paula (2016). Body: Biblical spirituality for the whole person. London: SPCK Publishing. ISBN 978-0281071005.
  • Gooder, Paula (2018). Phoebe: A Story. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1473669727.


  1. ^ "Gooder, Rev. Canon Dr Paula R." Who's Who 2020. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2019. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U292530. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "About". Paula Gooder. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  3. ^ Paula R., Gooder (1998). Only the third heaven?: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and heavenly ascent. E-Thesis Online Service (Ph.D). The British Library Board. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Paula Gooder interview: A biblical relationship". Reform Magazine. March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  5. ^ Franklin, Richard (10 June 2013). "Dr Paula Gooder appointed Bible Society's Theologian in Residence". Bible Society. British and Foreign Bible Society. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Appointment Announcement: New Director of Mission Learning and Development". The Church of England – Birmingham. Diocese of Birmingham. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Moving on: Director of Mission Learning & Development". The Church of England - Birmingham. Diocese of Birmingham. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  8. ^ "New Testament Scholar is appointed Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral". St Paul's Cathedral. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Groundbreaking document released on how Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn from each other". Anglican Communion News Service. Anglican Consultative Council. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.

External links