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About Cliff College

Who we are

Cliff College provides theological 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. We offer full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses with residential and non-residential options, as well as a growing programme of short courses and retreats.

Alongside our courses we have a busy conference centre, a team of evangelists and a linked gap year, thriving international work delivering training and support to Christians throughout the world and an exciting annual Festival of word and music.

The College is overseen by the Executive Committee, made up of the Principal and two Directors. This group provides leadership, oversight and vision, working in a collaborative ways through regular meetings with curriculum leads, line managers and other key members of staff. The Executive Committee reports to the Cliff College Committee, the College's managing trustees, who meet three times a year and offer strategic oversight and accountability. The Cliff College Committee report to the Methodist Council, who have ultimate responsibility for the College.

Global Partnerships 3

Cliff is proud to work with partner institutions and churches around the world to facilitate access to quality theological education for everyone.

Cliff Conference Centre

Cliff College also hosts the Cliff Conference Centre, which can accommodate groups of varying sizes for events of all kinds. We host residential and non-residential functions in our beautiful surroundings, and work with our customers to make their events successful and enjoyable for everyone. Individuals can also book overnight or longer bed & breakfast stays at the College.

Festival worship 2

Cliff College is the home of the annual Cliff Festival, where Christians of all ages gather to learn, pray and worship together.

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.