The development of mission theology and praxis at Cliff College, with reference to its antecedents and history
A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the department of Theology and Religion, Faculty of Arts, Durham University 2005.This thesis is an examination and evaluation of evangelistic ministry at Cliff College and its major themes, or Charisms. It charts the rise of the College and its antecedents in section one, introducing the main characters and events. Section two introduces themes that have shaped the tradition of the College; the most significant being holiness teaching which finds its origins in the works of John Wesley. Though they differed in emphasis, most Principals were proponents of this doctrine. There developed at the College a theology which was biblical and evangelical but not fundamentalist or sectarian. The College espoused 'faith principles' but ensured supporters were aware of its needs. The College is known primarily for training people in evangelism. Section three charts this innovative ministry beginning with the joyful News Mission and continuing through the years of Cook, Chadwick and Broadbelt. Between 1939 and the late 1950s there was a dearth of creative thinking about evangelism. Meadley and Beiben laid the foundations that, in the late 1970s, gave rise to a new strategy which was given impetus through the 1980s. The innovative thinking of the first period is illustrated by reference to the Joyful News female evangelists and the trekkers. Section four examines the particular academic stance taken by College Principals. This was specifically to offer training, focussed on evangelistic ministry, to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity. A policy of open access was retained throughout, with the College seeking proper recognition. This eventually came with the validation of the College programmes by the University of Sheffield. Chapter eleven charts the emergence of missiology as a discipline in the academy. The conclusion identifies the ambivalent attitude of Methodism to the College, and that its major charisms continue to have a significant influence though in need of constant restatement.