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MA Theology and Mission

The MA Theology and Mission equips students to explore missional theology and practice in depth, to inform and enhance their own engagement in the work of God’s Kingdom.

Cliff College is an approved partner of The University of Manchester, developing programmes delivered by Cliff College, approved by and leading to an award of The University of Manchester. The MA Theology and Mission programme can be taken to postgraduate certificate, diploma or degree level.

Cliff College 2023 Foyetography 97

The MA Theology and Mission is designed to stretch and develop students’ understanding of missional theology and missional practice by providing opportunities for in-depth academic scholarship and critical reflection on practice. It can be studied either on-campus at Cliff College or online, full-time or part-time, enabling students to learn in the way that best suits them.

The programme has two core units, Missional Theology and Missional Theology in Practice, which give students a strong foundation in themes, approaches and methods of mission and give them opportunities to practically apply and critically reflect on their learning. Students then choose from a range of optional units that develop and extend learning in subject areas of interest. Optional units include:

  • Christian Doctrine and Mission
  • Methodist & Wesleyan Identity and Mission
  • Leadership and Mission
  • Chaplaincy and Mission
  • Bible and Mission
  • Intergenerational Ministry and Mission

The postgraduate degree is validated by The University of Manchester, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The MA programme can be studied full-time or part-time, on-campus or online. The full-time programme is taken over 18 months; the part-time programme is taken over three years. This makes it ideal both for those pursuing an academic vocation as well as for those currently involved in mission or ministry who need to juggle their studies with their church/mission commitments.

Learning in Context

Missional Theology in Practice offers students an opportunity to identify and reflect on good practice in a missional context and learn from practical experience. Suitable placements will be identified by the College in consultation with students and may include existing contexts where students are already working or volunteering.

Find out more about this course at one of our upcoming events:

Course structure and content

This programme can be studied full-time or part-time. The full-time programme is taken over 18 months; the part-time programme is taken over three years. To complete the full MA, you would usually study six taught units (the two core units plus four of your choice), plus a dissertation or major project. Students can also take six taught units and gain a Postgraduate Diploma, or take three units and gain a Postgraduate Certificate.

This programme is offered in dual delivery mode, giving students the flexibility to study either onsite or online. In this innovative programme, on-campus and distance students attend scheduled classes together and at the same time using video conferencing tools.

In addition to this lecture-based learning during scheduled teaching weeks, teaching and learning will take place in a variety of ways, including:

  • small-group seminars throughout the academic year, which will include student presentations based on directed reading;
  • online learning resources, including videos, activities and discussion forums;
  • reflective learning through practical placement; and
  • independent study, including assessment preparation, guided by personal tutorials.

Core units



Missional Theology
(20 credits)

This unit enables students to navigate the field of missional scholarship with confidence and competence. Key concepts and themes in missional theology are explored, using advanced approaches from biblical and theological studies.
Missional Theology in Practice
(20 credits)
This unit equips students with advanced methods of practical theology to explore and evaluate their missional practice. The unit includes a period of ‘field education’, in a context agreed with the College, which may be either an existing ministry setting or a new one.
Major Project or Dissertation
(60 credits)
The culmination of the MA journey is the completion of a major project on a topic of the student’s choice within the area of missional theology and practice. Students can either complete a single 12,000 word dissertation, or build a structured portfolio, which is especially suited for topics that require fieldwork.

Optional units (20 credits each)

Biblical Studies units

  • Bible and Mission
  • Women and Gender in the Bible and Mission

Theological Studies units

  • Christian Doctrine and Mission
  • Majority World Perspectives and Mission
  • Methodist & Wesleyan Identity and Mission

Missional Practice units

  • Chaplaincy and Mission
  • Intergenerational Ministry and Mission
  • Justice and Mission
  • Leadership and Mission
  • Pioneer Ecclesiology and Mission
  • Preaching, Worship and Mission
  • Spirituality, Wellbeing and Mission
  • Independent Study Unit

More information and dates for when these units will run is available here.

IT requirements

All students will need to engage with elements of online learning throughout their programme, and so are required to have access to a personal computer, laptop, or device and a stable internet connection. Students who choose to take their programme via online delivery additionally need to ensure that they have access to appropriate audio/visual equipment to enable their full engagement. Online students are expected to be visible and audible in the online classroom, and so minimum requirements include:

  • a personal computer, laptop, or device
  • an integrated or connected webcam
  • an integrated or connected microphone
  • integrated or connected speakers
  • a stable broadband internet connection

Our IT team is able to provide further advice and guidance on the most appropriate equipment for your needs. You may also be able to receive financial support for your study equipment, depending on your personal circumstances.

Empowering. Life transforming. Accessible. Brilliant.

Abby Clayton

I have felt consistently supported, encouraged, and inspired by the staff at Cliff, and am grateful for the opportunity to learn in an environment as deeply committed to mission and discipleship as it is to academic rigour.

Abby Clayton

It was stimulating, challenging, practical and everything I hoped I would explore during ministerial training but never did.

Neil Mayne

The MA experience has been a powerful journey through which I have learned so much about my faith. It has been a rich tapestry of experiences, new knowledge, insights, and challenge. It forced me to overcome self-doubt and those feelings that you don’t belong. It has been transformative. I pray that many others take up the opportunity to study at Cliff and use it to frame their own journeys of faith.

Neil Mayne

Thought-provoking, challenging and potentially life-changing.

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 enquiries@cliffcollege.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

Applicants must usually:

(a) hold a relevant humanities-based Bachelor's degree with a minimum grade of 2:2 or equivalent


(b) be able to satisfy the Non-Standard Entry process, which requires evidence of a minimum of three years of supervised missional experience and may also require the applicant to complete a written assignment. Such applicants are strongly advised to discuss their circumstances with our admissions team before submitting an application.

English language requirements for international students

For full details around English language requirements for visa purposes, please see English language requirements here. For this course, international students will need to achieve:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall, with no one element scored below 6.0; or
  • PTE Academic UKVI 59 overall, with no one element lower than 59; or
  • LanguageCert SELT B2 39 overall, with no one element scored below 33.

This must have been achieved no longer than two years before the date of enrolment on the course.

Tuition fees

For 2024-25, the total tuition fee for the MA programme is £7,700 for home students and international students studying online, and £8,700 for international students requiring a UK student visa in order to study.

Read more about our tuition fees and finance here.

Employment Opportunities

Students completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Theology and Mission, Postgraduate Diploma in Theology and Mission, or MA Theology and Mission could be employed as paid staff or volunteers by churches, parachurch organisations or charities to work in various capacities, depending upon the units taken.

For some, postgraduate study at Cliff College acts as a gateway for a career in academia via a postgraduate research degree, or as a professional in a field such as the media, public service or the voluntary sector. For others who are already engaged in mission and ministry in church or community contexts, studying at Cliff College can bring a new level of expertise and confidence to your work.

Our students go on to diverse jobs and careers, including in:

  • church and parachurch organisations;
  • schools, colleges and universities (in teaching, research and administrative roles);
  • charities, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations;
  • social services and other caring professions;
  • UK-based and international mission work in partnership with churches or Christian organisations.

The programme provides specialist training and expertise to equip students for a variety of areas. Students gain practical, academic, critical and reflective skills related to theology, mission, ministry and teaching both within and beyond the church. The combination of lecture-based discussion, small group work, presentation during tutorials and written assessments will develop students' communication skills in a variety of contexts. The MA Theology and Mission also provides a platform for students to train others with the learning they have gained, and many organisations directly or indirectly involved in mission may see a candidate with an MA Theology and Mission as a valuable asset to them for the training and development of future leaders and workers.

Tuition Fees

Credit Transfer Arrangements