Cliff Year – 2020–21


If you're 18–25, the Cliff Year is an ideal time to invest in yourself and your own faith. Over a period of 11 months, we will give you time for your faith to grow, equipping to share your faith, and training and experience to positively impact the world.

Cliff Year Uganda

Grow in faith

Cliff College is a community of people who come together each morning to pray together before they begin their studies or work. The College community also comes together on a Tuesday evening for a meal and a worship service.

There will be time dedicated to studying the Bible together as a group, focusing on getting to know two of the gospels well, as well as joining in with some of the wider discipleship that the College currently does.

As a Cliff Year group, we will go away together at the beginning and in the middle of the year to spend some time getting to know ourselves and God better.

Everybody on the Cliff Year will have a mentor, who will be able to provide guidance and support during the year.

Be equipped to share faith

As part of the Cliff College community, you will have the chance to lead prayers and devotions and take part in celebration services. This will be with our support and training. During the year we will provide faith development and training which, if you choose, would prepare you to submit Portfolio A of the Methodist Worship: Leading and Preaching Course.

There will be time for you to spend with God and others to discern your calling and vocation, and to reflect on how God is using you through your experiences.

There will also be opportunities to learn from other cultures around the world, including trips overseas.

Through local mission placements, you will be able to participate in a variety of ministries that allow you to explore sharing your faith and serving in different ways, and provide an opportunity for you to use, develop and discover your gifts and talents.

Positively impact the world

During the year’s equipping and learning there will be opportunities to complete key programmes including a Cliff College Diploma in Mission and Evangelism, and the Methodist Church’s Leadership Year.

We will also partner with other organisations during the year, including the History Makers, whose mission is to train and mobilise leaders to reach their nations with the gospel; and the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), an organisation that encourages churches to work for peace and justice.

Throughout the year we will be partnering with many other churches and charities as we support them with mission and events. This will serve as practical experience which allows you to test your own personal calling and vocation.

Find out more about the Cliff Year on one of our virtual open days:

The Cliff Year will run from mid-September 2020 to July 2021.

The Cliff Year has received generous funding and subsidy towards this programme, so the cost to you is only £995. We can help you with some fundraising ideas and have some contacts for individual bursaries if helpful. We encourage you to tell your church about your plans to do the Cliff Year as they may want to contribute towards the cost.

During the year we will provide you with accommodation at Cliff College, your home for the year. You will be surrounded by the stunning views of the Peak District, and all of your meals will be provided. You will only need to raise a small amount of funds for treats, socialising and personal shopping.

Is this a new course?

We ran the Cliff Year for the first time in 2019–2020. September 2020 will be our second cohort.

What sort of numbers are you expecting for the gap year? Is it a large or small group?

We are expecting it to be a small group this year of up to 6 people. You will also be a part of the wider College community and will be able to socialise and make friends with students on the full-time residential programmes and with other members of the Cliff community who are residential.

What certificates/ qualifications would you get during the year?

  • Cliff College Diploma in Mission and Evangelism
  • The Leadership Year (The Methodist Church)
  • Opportunities to prepare you for the Worship: Leading & Preaching course, meaning if a participant is ready and willing, they could submit Portfolio A of this course the following September

Part of the diploma includes completing two compulsory short courses and one optional short course.

There is the possibility of completing further short courses (at an additional charge).

Is it based entirely at Cliff or will I be involved in ministry in different areas or churches too? Is there any travelling involved?

Your home for the year will be at Cliff. This will be where we do the bulk of the training and equipping, and you’ll be involved in some local placements to help you explore your vocation and calling.

We will also do some events around the country – supporting Cliff events as well as local Church and conference events.

There will also be the opportunity to go overseas.

What are the term/holiday times during the year and how is the year structured?

The year will start in mid-September with an induction and time to get to know the group.

There will be a Christmas Break from mid-December until early January.

We will also have a short break in the springtime, around Easter. The year will end at the end of July.

There will be an opportunity to go home for some of the weekends and for special family events etc.

The college’s graduation, where participants will receive their diploma, will take place in November 2021.

Are there any additional costs?

  • Travel insurance. You will need to purchase this for yourself, but check with us before you buy
  • Passport for overseas trips
  • Personal allowance for treats, shopping, spare time hobbies, personal travel, social activities and souvenirs
  • Travel between your home and Cliff College

What is included in the £995 cost?

  • All of your main meals
  • Your accommodation
  • Travel to and from events related to the programme
  • Training

Do you have ideas to help me raise the funds I need?

Yes, we do! Please get in touch for ideas. We think it is good if you spend some time fundraising towards the cost of the year to help make others aware of what you are doing.

We would also encourage you to tell your church and/or circuit that this is something you would like to be a part of as they may be able to support you financially as well as prayerfully.

We are aware of some grants you may be able to apply for as well, including from Methodist Women in Britain.

For more information on the Cliff Year, contact Tom Donoghue at t.donoghue@cliffcollege.ac.uk, or call 01246 584200.

If you're ready to apply, please download the application form below and send it by email to t.donoghue@cliffcollege.ac.uk, or by post to:

Cliff Year
Cliff College,
Calver,
Hope Valley,
Derbyshire,
S32 3XG