Learning and Training opportunties

Here is a list of some of the Learning and Training Opportunities that are happening both locally and further afield.

Certificate courses in Pioneer Ministry

The Certificate in Pioneer Ministry course is a dynamic and significant contribution to reflective practice on Pioneering and Fresh Expression, drawing together key practitioners for encouragement, discussion and learning. Are you one of them?

The course will be helpful to those who are active in pioneer mission and want to learn and reflect with others engaged in similar work. They are a result of collaboration  between Methodist Pioneering Pathways, VentureFX and Cliff College, but are open to people of any church tradition or denomination.
We have had reason to re-evaluate the way we deliver the certificate courses in Pioneer Ministry.  We have reached the conclusion that it is most beneficial to combine the two courses and to run the combined course annually. This will take effect from March 2018, so if people are thinking of signing up for the course on 19 -23 March 2018, it will be a combination of the content of the two courses which were previously separate.  The details of the course and an overview of subjects covered can be found here:


If people are registered with Methodist Pioneering Pathways, their course fees will be covered, but they still need to seek approval from their regional DMLN lead person, using the forms downloadable from the MPP pages of the Methodist website, as well as applying to Cliff.  .  Other applicants  will need to secure their own funding, perhaps with local assistance.

Certificate in Missional Entrepreneurship

This is a collaborative exercise between Cliff College, Methodist Pioneering Pathways (Discipleship & Ministries Learning Network), and Church Mission Society. The Certificate will be within the Cliff College Short Course Programme for the 2017-18 academic year.  The ‘Make Good’ course, leading to a Cliff College Certificate in Missional Entrepreneurship course, is to be delivered by Martin Lawson and Steve Baker, and is a course developed by three partner organisations (Church Mission Society, Pickwell Foundation and Matryoshka Haus). We are delighted to be able to be joining forces deliver this very successful course at Cliff College. The week long course is planned for 13-18 May  2018, and more details, including how to register,  can be found via this link:


Please feel free to pass on this news to those who could be interested in this new course which is ideal for pioneers and budding entrepreneurs.  To register an interest please contact shortcourse@cliffcollege.ac.uk

‘This is a course which brilliantly engages with people and their ideas, and moves them from ‘thinking’ to ‘doing’.  Encouraging participants to build from what they’re passionate about, equipping them with a set of tools for the journey, and helping them find resources and partners as they answer the question “What does good look like in my context?” It’s always a real privilege to be able to journey alongside participants as they process how they can creatively and entrepreneurially innovate in ways that offer hope and impact to their communities and situations’. Martin Lawson, Course Leader; Make Good 

‘This is an excellent course, that has already proved itself across the country, and we are grateful to be able to offer it here at Cliff College. It will allow pioneers and other creative entrepreneurs in the church the opportunity to explore strategic ways forward for expanding their ‘Big Idea’, and making significant impact into their community’. Ian White, Programme Leader, Short Courses, Cliff College

Bridge Builders – Responding to Criticism

February 15, 2018 @ 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

A workshop training day for people in church leadership held at Blackley Baptist Church Centre, Prospect View, Elland HS5 0TD

There is a world of difference between constructive feedback and corrosive criticism.

Fair assessment, offered graciously, can help you to be a more effective leader. But harsh comments, perhaps comparing you unfavourably with your predecessor, may become a drip, drip, drip that just wears you down.

You may find yourself wondering why you are the target, and what can you do or say in response. How can you move out of a mood of anger or resignation? How can you avoid getting hooked into finger -pointing yourself?

This is both a spiritual exercise, requiring God’s help to grow in grace, and a practical challenge, looking to learn ways of listening and speaking that can earth the cycle of blame.

And even if you are not personally under fire, you may be aware of undercurrents in your church that tend to drag people down. How can you name what is happening below the surface, in a way that allows it to be addressed? Things to explore in a supportive atmosphere …..

A Practical Focus

The workshop is designed to equip you as a leader within your church. It is for anyone in leadership, but specially relevant to those in a position of overall oversight. The aim is to give you confidence, and hope.

Full details via their website here: https://www.bbministries.org.uk/course/responding-to-criticism-blackley/

A Walk through the Bible

Saturday 17 March – Thorpe Hesley

Have you ever wanted to know more about the Old Testament?

We will be hosting a ‘Walk through the Bible’ event on 17th March (10-4.30pm) which will give you an overview of the Old Testament through fun and memorable teaching, with take away materials. The cost is £14 per adult. Children 11-16 years are welcome with a paying adult.

Seeing the big picture of the Bible will encourage you to read with fresh understanding. We will give you a helpful structure which fills in any gaps you might have.

For those who are new to the Bible this can be a revelation!

Imagine the impact on your church if everyone felt a fresh inspiration with their Bible reading.

Bring a packed lunch, drinks provided

If you need more information please contact Katherine on 0114 2812816 or email katherinefrancis@blueyonder.co.uk

Free First Aid offer – British Red Cross

We work with organisations and community groups in Yorkshire who support people that are facing higher risks of needing first aid in particular crises, including:

  • People who are homeless or rough sleepers and at risk of injury or sudden illness
  • Adults over 65 who are at more risk of slips, trips and falls.

Our sessions have had all of the technical/clinical language removed to ensure that it is easy to learn and therefore easy to remember in an emergency situation. Each session is designed to meet learners’ needs and is tailored to the environment the learner will be in. We are happy to work with service users, their family/friends/carers and also volunteers and staff in your organisation.

What can you expect from our first aid session?

  • Effective, easy to learn first aid education in a relaxed, fun and informal style.
  • Provide relevant first aid skills tailored to the needs of the group.
  • Break down the barriers to helping others.
  • Build the confidence and willingness to help in a first aid emergency.
  • Typically last 2 hours, but flexible depending on number of skills taught.
  • Suitable for groups of up to 15 people.
  • Participants will receive a pack that covers the skills learned and will be awarded a certificate of learning upon completion.
  • Delivered by experienced Red Cross trained educators.
  • Delivered at your venue.
  • One or more sessions will be provided, as is necessary.
  • Fully funded – there is no cost to you

If this is something you would be interested in, please use the booking form here to find out more: 2016-2017 Adult Enquiry Form

 ‘To be a Pilgrim’

6 – 8 April 2018

Organized by Jill Baker, Vice-President, Methodist Conference 2017-18

This weekend conference at Cliff College offers an opportunity to explore different aspects of pilgrimage – through worship, through images and words, through various activities and, for those who want to, through getting outside into the grounds of the college and the beautiful surrounding countryside. No experience of pilgrimage is needed, just a “Come and see” pilgrim spirit – you will be most welcome. Save the date! For more information click here.

Conference for Lay Preachers’ and Worship Leaders’

19-20 April 2018

Luther King House in Manchester run a popular conference each year – Lay Preachers and Worship Leaders. The 2018 Conference is entitled ‘All are Welcome’ and is on 19 – 20 April. The conference will include practical workshops and sessions based around inclusivity, bible studies and more. The conference will also include an evening workshop on dementia-friendly worship. For more information click here

Brave New World? Faithful living in a time of change

In a time of political turbulence, social upheaval and climate change, the 2018 Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) conference will be looking at how Christians can live prophetically and faithfully.

Brave New World? Faithful living in a time of change takes place in Manchester on Saturday, 17 March 2018.    

The one-day conference is a unique opportunity to explore in detail a faith-based perspective on some of the most pressing political issues of our times. There will be workshops covering topics as varied as the changing face of poverty, tackling hate crime and counteracting climate change.

In the spirit of learning how to work for justice and peace across political divides the highlight of the conference will be a debate between Stella Creasy, MP for Labour and Co-operative, and Peter Oborne, columnist at the Daily Mail.

They will discuss and debate the challenges, fears and hopes facing communities, nations and the world. This is an exciting opportunity to hear two individuals with very different perspectives attempting to build a vision for the future.

The day will conclude with Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Team at Christian Aid Scotland, sending attendees out with a vision for a new heaven and new earth.

The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), which is running the conference, was established in 2007 as a venture of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland to help the four denominations work together on issues of justice and inequality.

Team Leader for the Joint Public Issues Team, Rachel Lampard, commented: “We are living in a rapidly changing, complex and sometimes frightening world, but as Christians we are given a vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

“What does a brave new world look like for our communities, society and world?  And how can we as Christians participate in shaping in the coming new world?

“The Joint Public Issues Team conference is an opportunity to inform, resource, inspire and challenge Christians on the issues of peace and justice which we face. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet face to face with others and share visions for a new heaven and new earth.”

Full details are available on the JPIT website www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/about/2018conf/

One Way Creative Ministries Puppet Ministry Training Day

Saturday 28 April – Standish WN6 0JT

Our Puppet Ministry Training Days feature a full day of hands on training and is suitable for both adults and young people, schools ministry, youth/children’s workers, those already involved in puppet ministry and wanting to improve their skills or even if you are just curious as to how puppetry can be a part of your outreach.

Full details on the event in your area can be found on our website here –

Ebor Lectures

The Ebor Lecture series aims to promote a conversation between theology and public issues. The Yorkshire North & East District is one of five ecumenical partners involved in this venture and in adopting the theme of ‘Peace and Reconciliation’ the 12th series marks the centenary of the ending of World War 1. A highlight this year is a family event with Michael Morpurgo. The lectures are free to attend and you are warmly invited.

Full details including how to book tickets are can be found in the leaflet here: Ebor Lectures 2018