Cliff College

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, with an emphasis on Scriptural Holiness.

As a Bible College, we have a high standard of excellence with the courses we deliver in order 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 but now 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 standard for all of our students on whatever course they take, so that when they graduate from the College they are better prepared, equipped and discipled, 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 in order 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 better 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 that will help you through the rest of your life and ministry. Ask any of our students, being at Cliff is life changing – for the better!