Certificate in Contemporary Fatherhood

A new course for 2020! In partnership with Care for the Family and Who Let The Dads Out?

What does it mean to be a father in the 21st century? What challenges and opportunities do they face? What roles can father figures play in families and in the wider community? What is the place of the Church in offering an alternative vision amidst the shifting societal view of the father role, and offering support to those fathers and father figures? These are some of the questions that we will be seeking answers to through our brand new course launched in Spring 2020!

The new Certificate in Contemporary Fatherhood course is designed for those who want to think about their role as a father or father figure, or who are looking to support fathers and father figures in the wider community. The course complements other training within the Short Course programme surrounding the role of men, is offered in Spring 2020, and is a week-long course designed to stretch, inform and inspire new thinking and action.  The Certificate in Contemporary Fatherhood would be ideal for anyone involved or working with families and eager to explore the opportunities and challenges facing fathers and father figures in the modern family, and how the church can respond.  This Certificate builds on the Ministry to Fathers weekend short course that ran successfully from 2016 – 2018.

Is the brand new Certificate in Contemporary Fatherhood for you or someone in your team?

Cliff College is delighted to be running this Short Course Certificate in partnership with Care for the Family under the course leadership of Tony Sharp, National Project Manager for Who Let The Dads Out?  There are only 20 places available on this course, so book early!










Tony Sharp, Course Leader

‘We believe this course will equip the women and the men who are leading the thinking and the practice on how the church engages and supports fathers and father figures in particular, for the benefit of families, communities and our nations.’ Tony Sharp

Tony Sharp is a husband, dad, mechanical engineer, writer and the Project Manager for Who Let The Dads Out? He combines a professional career in engineering in the water industry with a Christian vision that is outworked in various ways including family, church and his role with Who Let The Dads Out?

Who Let The Dads Out?

Care for the Family’s Who Let The Dads Out? project is a growing movement that inspires and resources churches to support and reach out to fathers, father figures and their children, and is based on the belief that to ‘turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers’ (Malachi 4:6) is a powerful way ‘to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’ (Luke 1:17). The project encourages and supports churches to create spaces where fathers, father figures and their children can have fun together, and is founded on the Christian principle of wanting to demonstrate God’s love to communities. Care for the Family also provides ideas and resources to support all families through both the good times and the hard times.


Course Details

Hosted by Ian White, Senior Tutor and Short Course Programme Leader, the course is led by Tony Sharp, with contributions from Mark Chester, Dads Development Manager at Care for the Family and Founder of Who Let The Dads Out, Cliff College Faculty members, together with other expert adjuncts. There is time for personal reflection and social space, as well as teaching delivered via lectures, seminars and workshops with practical as well as theoretical applications. The course aims to enable new learning and provide the student with skills and resources for both individual and church application.

At a time when society is re-defining what parenting roles might look like, this certificate has been developed to equip family work practitioners, the growing Who Let The Dads Out? community and those with a broad interest in the topic, by exploring contemporary fatherhood in detail theologically, theoretically and practically.

Subject areas include:

  • Belonging and the importance of family
  • What the Bible teaches us about God as Father
  • Good and bad dads of the Bible
  • What society expected of fathers historically and expects today
  • What happens to a man as he becomes a father
  • The role of men as father figures
  • The mental health and well-being of fathers
  • Practical ways of encouraging and supporting fathers in family life
  • Practical support for fathers at times of crisis


The aim of the teaching is to introduce the latest thinking on contemporary fatherhood and resource the Church further in this important ministry.

‘It is always good to work with the team from Who Let The Dads Out?, and we are really looking forward to teaching together on this important new course focussed on the role of  contemporary fathers and father figures both in the church, and in the wider community. Designed to both encourage and up-skill, this course provides some of the necessary theological and biblical training needed for this important area of understanding and ministry.’Ian White; Programme Leader; Short Course Programme, Cliff College.

Participants gain a Cliff College Certificate by completing the required assessment work following the teaching week. Successful students will be invited to the Cliff College graduation ceremony. Students can choose not to do the assessment work by ‘auditing’ the course.

Student testimony

“Cliff keeps developing courses that hit the mark”

Students say of training already offered at Cliff College by the Who Let The Dads Out? team: “It’s been amazing; full of laughter, tears, God moments and affirmation.  Thank you”, “Thanks for many inspiring thoughts and experiences – plenty to work on”, “Really powerful programme – giving ideas and energy to drive and equip me.  The opportunity to hear what others are doing is invaluable”, “Even better than expected, excellent balance of practical, biblical, laying foundations, discussion and presentation”.

Students say of the Short Course Certificate programme: “It was all totally invaluable and I wouldn’t change a thing.” “Informative, challenging, reflective, resourcing, encouraging, enabling and empowering.” “It will be hard to hold me back on things I will do!  I need to go back, reflect, pray, discern the next steps.  But as a ‘way of doing and being’, it’s been brilliant to take that away.”


Cliff College Certificate in Contemporary Fatherhood: Monday 20th – Friday 24th April 2020

The cost of £435.00  includes all teaching materials, tutorial support, board and accommodation in single en suite rooms.

A non refundable deposit of £75.00 secures your place and is payable on your acceptance of the place offered. The balance of fees should be paid on arrival or before. 

For booking or more details contact: shortcourse@cliffcollege.ac.uk  / 01246 584203

Cover photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Cliff College is a registered charity: No. 529386

Call: +44 (0) 1246 584200


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Calver, Hope Valley,
Sheffield, S32 3XG

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