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Foundations: Mission and Ministry pathway

The Foundations: Mission and Ministry pathway covers the essentials of Christian theology and practice in accessible and creative ways. The course will help you develop your existing missional practice and prepare you for new areas and opportunities for ministry. Apply online here.

Foundations: Mission and Ministry pathway is a two-year, part-time programme covering essential teaching and training for Christian mission and ministry today.

Drawing on Cliff College’s expertise over many years training men and women for mission and evangelism, both in the UK and globally, this programme is designed for people exploring or already engaged in paid or voluntary mission and ministry and will supplement and develop your existing skills whilst challenging and stretching them in new areas.

Offered either entirely online or in a hybrid model, students will take six Foundations units including Integrating Theology and Practice, Pastoral Practice and Growing in Leadership.

The majority of the teaching and learning for the programme will take place online, with some live seminars available either online or onsite at Cliff College in Derbyshire. Assessment methods are highly practical and include creative written assignments and recorded presentations.

Cliff College is an approved partner of The University of Manchester. This programme has been developed by Cliff College and leads to the award of undergraduate credit from The University of Manchester.

You can also take individual Foundations units from this programme as standalone courses. Read more about this option here.

Standalone Units

Excellent, sequential course. The video presentations were short, focused and relevant.

I have been truly blessed to be part Cliff College this year. I feel part of the community even from afar, have enjoyed every unit, and the course is stretching my theological thinking and reflection.

Sarah Howes

I highly recommend the Foundations for Mission and Ministry course, whether you're taking it to gain a qualification or for the joy of learning something new. The online learning is highly adaptable and the team at Cliff have been incredibly supportive. The learning is stretching my mind and my faith as I discover more about mission, ministry and myself.

June Sargeant


This programme is available with entry points in September, January and April.

Each unit is delivered mainly online and comprises ten sessions over ten weeks, with a further five weeks to prepare and submit your assessment. The first and last sessions of each unit are live seminars which you will need to attend either online or onsite at Cliff College. The dates for these live seminars will be listed below when confirmed.

The other eight sessions are designed for independent study and are made up of video content, reading, written tasks and other creative activities to help consolidate your learning. These can be done at any time in the week that suits you. We recommend that you allow two hours of learning for each session, plus time for reading and assessment preparation.

Throughout the course you will have opportunities through scheduled online meetings to check in with Cliff College staff, discuss your learning and experience of the course, seek guidance on assessments and ask any questions you have.

Unit title

Unit start date

Live seminars

Foundations: Integrating Theology and PracticeSeptember 2024


Foundations: Pastoral PracticeJanuary 2025


Foundations: Ministry in the Methodist Tradition or Foundations: Evangelism and Christian Mission

April 2025TBC

The units offered in 2025-26 will be: Christian Theology in Outline; Growing in Leadership; and Christian Spirituality.


The tuition fee for the full programme (comprising six units) is £2,000. Alternatively, it is possible to take individual units at a cost of £360 per unit.

If you choose to join us on the Cliff College site in person for live seminars, rather than accessing these online, you will be responsible for your own travel and accommodation costs.

You may be able to apply for funds towards the cost of this professional development programme from your church or employer. Please contact for more any queries about fees or finances.

Applications for this programme are open now - apply here!

If you have any questions about the course or would like to speak to someone before applying, please contact Our admissions policy and appeals procedure can be found at the bottom of this page.

This programme is a part-time programme with students taking one unit each term over a two year period. Students can start in September, January or March as these units do not need to be taken in a particular order. Please specify in the application form in which year you intend to commence your studies.

If you are applying as part of your training for a Local Lay Pastor role, please state this in the 'personal statement' section of the application form.

Entry requirements

A Level 3 qualification (such as an A Level) or equivalent.

It is recognised that standard procedures for assessing applications may not always provide an accurate understanding of an applicant's suitability. In such cases where a Level 3 qualification is not held, qualification it is still possible to apply, and these applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, in line with our non-standard entry process.

English language proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English shall have achieved an overall IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent in an equivalent recognised test. This must have been achieved no longer than two years before the date of enrolment on the course.

Tuition fees

The programme is designed to be completed over two years, with each unit designed to be completed over 15 weeks (ten weeks of teaching sessions plus five weeks to prepare and submit the corresponding assessment).

The Foundations: Mission and Ministry pathway is suitable for those in any church denomination and is approved as a key element of training for the Local Lay Pastor scheme in the Methodist Church in Britain and for ordination training in the Methodist Church in Ireland.

For all students, the programme can form part of professional ministry development, and is a valuable way to demonstrate growing expertise in a range of pastoral, missional and ministry contexts. In addition to the knowledge and skills you will gain from your study, successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of 60 FHEQ Level 4 credits by The University of Manchester. You will be issued with a transcript from the University detailing this credit.

Successful completion of the programme may also prepare students to access other higher education awards in theology, ministry and mission. The units on the Foundations: Mission and Ministry pathway are matched with units in the first year of the undergraduate programme at Cliff College. It is therefore possible to apply to transfer the credit for these units as part of an application to the undergraduate degree, BA (Hons) Theology and Mission. If you are planning to do this – or if you begin to think this may be an option for you as you study – please do speak with our Admissions Officer at the earliest opportunity.