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Cliff College


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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, emphasizing Scriptural Holiness.
As a Bible College, we have a high standard of excellence with the courses we deliver 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. However, our student body is both lay and ordained and from a diverse denominational background, with our emphasis now being evangelical Christians.
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 standards for all of our students on whatever course they take. When they graduate from the College, they are better prepared, equipped, and disciplined, 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 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 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 to help you through the rest of your life and ministry. Ask any of our students, being at Cliff is life-changing – for the better!
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 the diversity that is much needed in the Church today. It also promotes social mobility, enriches the Church's life, and is at one with God's heart for justice.
Many of our programs 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 programs also involve a significant placement component, which also enables students to maintain their current volunteer or work arrangements alongside their study. 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 to support such students.

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