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About Us

Welcome to Cliff College

Cliff College provides education and training with a particular focus on mission and evangelism. Historically, Cliff was a Methodist Lay Training college. Today our student body is both lay and ordained and from a range of denominational backgrounds.

The College's defining characteristic has always been training in mission and evangelism and we consider ourselves to be at the cutting edge of contemporary missional thinking. In recent years, we have prioritised evangelism in contemporary culture, pioneer ministry and fresh expressions, evangelical and biblical theology, and ministry among children and young people. We continue to explore new areas, most recently in public theology, the creative arts and family ministry. We recognise the full diversity of theological opinion in these studies.

Our motto ‘Christ for all - all for Christ' sums this up. We want to train people from all walks of life to be better Christians, better evangelists and better disciples of Jesus.

Our Heritage

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.

Students hugging at coffee time

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 groupwork, and all students receive personal tutorial support during the length of their course.

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.

Open Day at coffee

Leisure Activities

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 ‘student digs' 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!

Your experience

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 fomal Open Days, but feel free to contact us for an informal visit at any time.



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Cliff College, Calver, Hope Valley, S32 3XG   Registered Charity Number 529386   Telephone 01246 584 200   Copyright © 2015 Cliff College
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