Cliff College has a long and rich heritage of providing Bible training to people from diverse backgrounds, for mission and evangelism. It started in 1883 in the home of its founder Thomas Champness in Bolton. He later moved into Castleton Hall at Rochdale where the work continued until he retired and the lease at Castleton Hall expired. The Wesleyan Methodist church took over the work and moved the college to its current location, Calver, in 1904 where more space was available for the work. Since the beginning we have sought to provide Biblical, Evangelical training that is both relevant and forward-thinking, with an emphasis on Scriptural Holiness.
As a Bible College, we have a high standard of excellence with the courses we deliver in order to provide the best Bible training we can give so that people are equipped for the services of mission and evangelism. Cliff College currently serves most Christian denominations with its training. Historically, Cliff was a Methodist Lay Training college but now our student body is both lay and ordained and from a diverse denominational background, with our emphasis now being evangelical Christians.
LIFE AT CLIFF COLLEGE
At Cliff we understand the needs of our students and the needs of the Church today. We aim to provide biblical, missional and pastoral training of high standard for all of our students on whatever course they take, so that when they graduate from the College they are better prepared, equipped and discipled, ready for any Christian ministry on which they may embark.
We see ourselves as a community of grace, which builds each other up in Christ in order to help carry the Church forward. Our ideology is built on learning, discipleship, mission, evangelism and caring for one another.
Our motto ‘Christ for all – all for Christ’ sums all this up. We want to train people from all walks of life to be better Christians, better evangelists and better disciples of Jesus. Our approach has changed as society has changed, ensuring we remain relevant to the world around us, but the calling is still the same.
We would love you to be part of our vision. Cliff College is not just about getting a qualification; it is about the experience of living here, sharing our lives and growing in godliness while you are with us. It is about gaining skills, character and knowledge that will help you through the rest of your life and ministry. Ask any of our students, being at Cliff is life changing – for the better!
PRAYER AND WORSHIP
Here at Cliff, we want our Bible training to fuel our prayer and worship. These two things are central to our community life. Each week includes morning prayer and Tuesday evening worship Celebrations and we encourage students to be involved in leading these various activities during the year so they have a chance to share with the community the gifts God has given them. Full-time students are also part of weekly discipleship groups, and we further encourage those students to be a part of a local church and serve that community while with us.
LECTURES, SEMINARS AND TUTORIALS
This is where our students will wrestle with important biblical and theological issues, and learn further about aspects of mission and ministry from experienced practitioner theologians. We want all our students to be pushed, challenged, inspired and transformed by learning as they take part in their lectures, seminars and tutorials. Our teaching staff are some of the finest in their field and are consistently providing engaging and relevant lectures to challenge our students. Seminars allow more concentrated and intimate group-work, and all students receive personal tutorial support during the length of their course.
Access and Participation Statement
Cliff College is committed to widening access and participation to students from all sections of society, especially those who are currently under-represented in Higher Education. God calls people into ministry from all walks of life, and therefore irrespective of background, we would encourage you to consider study at Cliff College. As 1 Corinthians 12 reminds us the body has many parts, and so leadership in the church requires people from a diversity of experiences. Widening access to higher education contributes to that diversity that is much needed in the church today. It also promotes social mobility, enriches the life of the church and is at one with God’s heart for justice.
Our widening access priorities include:
Students with disabilities
The College has a long history of welcoming students with a range of physical and specific learning difficulties. The College’s campus is physically safe and accessible. While some of the campus is on a steep hill, wheelchair access has been provided in those locations that require it, and so students with both mobility and sensory difficulties have successfully managed their studies here. Other adjustments can be made as required on a case-by‐case basis. The College also has a relatively high proportion of students with specific learning difficulties and our staff are therefore experienced in working successfully with such students to support their learning needs.
We welcome applications from mature students on both our full time and part time courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Many of the students on our courses have significant life and work experience, and they bring a rich vein of wisdom that benefits all.
Short courses for those with non-standard entry qualifications
Progression into higher education can be challenging for those that have not followed the traditional academic route in post-16 education. The College therefore runs a series of short courses ranging from single days to week long summer schools that can help build the confidence of those who have been out of formal education for some time, or who perhaps have never studied beyond GCSE level. Such students are often accepted onto our programmes via the non-standard entry process.
Many of our programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level are delivered as intensive teaching weeks. This enables students with work or family commitments to study alongside other responsibilities. Some of our programmes also involve a significant placement component which also enables students to maintain their current volunteer or work arrangements alongside their study.
Outcomes for non-standard students
We continually monitor outcomes for students with non-standard entry criteria, mature students and students with specific learning difficulties and ensure that targeted interventions are implemented where required to support such students.
SERVICE AND GENEROSITY
Each full-time student is invited to contribute to the community life of the College in one or more practical ways in the areas of such as administration, working in the Library, or the leading of celebration worship. This is an important aspect of each student’s discipleship as they learn to serve in practical ways around the campus for the benefit of all of the community.
COFFEE AND MEALS
Every morning at coffee break you will find the Chadwick’s refectory full of people. This is a point in the day to take a break from the lecture room and catch up with other students and staff from the variety of courses we run here at the college. Mealtimes are another great opportunity to build community, and on Tuesday we have an open community meal when the wider community living across the Cliff College site are invited to join staff and students before the evening worship celebration. All meals are provided in our light and modern Chadwick’s refectory.
We are never short of activities on campus throughout the year, many of them co-ordinated by the Student Leadership Group. Football, table tennis, dancing, choir, themed dinners, walks and outdoor/indoor games are just some of the things to highlight, not to mention the evenings that are spent in the Common Room watching DVDs, playing video games or just reading a book. We want our students to work hard in their studies but we also want them to thoroughly enjoy their time with us!
This website will tell you about the study programmes and academic life that Cliff has to offer. What it can’t tell you is what it is actually like coming to Cliff, living within the community and being involved in mission and evangelism. We would encourage you to visit us, spend some time with staff and students, sit in on some lectures, eat with us, pray with us and worship with us. Experience Cliff life and we’re confident you’ll want to come again on one of our courses. Check out all the opportunities to visit us at our formal Open Days, but feel free to contact us for an informal visit at any time.