The History

Tilsley College, as part of GLO Europe, has been committed to face-to-face delivery of residential theological training for Christian ministry since 1976. Over the decades these programmes have come to be formulated and accredited by the European Council for Theological Education (ECTE) in what is now known as our Certificate, Diploma and European Baccalaureate programmes.

In addition, Tilsley has also experimented with other non-accredited classes, like the evening class programmes. The occasional evening classes which were run intermittently over the years, were more rigorously organised in 2010 into what is now known as JOSHUA. Additionally, Around 2006 a leadership unit was envisaged and later delivered in a blended learning mode. Again the development of this work is now promoted as Learning to Lead. Experimentation with some online delivery or streaming of parts of these extension ministries became a feature through 2018-2020.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in UK from March 2020, the College has been forced to step up its operations in online delivery. Certificate and Diploma students had their programmes pivoted to online delivery through the final term of the 2019/2020 academic year. JOSHUA evening class students were moved into an online delivery of lectures and have been successful the in 2020/21 academic year in increased student uptake. Back in March 2020, the College Council approved a Strategic Plan that proposed a twin tracked approach to theological education that would more fully exploit the potential for broadening the College’s reach and pedagogy without losing sight of our commitment to face-to-face residential discipleship training. In that paper, the twin tracks were couched in the language of Tilsley College and Tilsley Academy. Tilsley College encompasses the in-house face-to-face residential theological training that has been the central conviction of the College since its inception. Tilsley Academy describes this learning environment that you are currently accessing and will gather together a growing range of other content and online delivery mechanisms, best described as ‘extension ministries’ that serve a wider constituency than simply a residential cohort.

The Need

Tilsley College have developed and launched Tilsley Academy in response to the expressed needs of our constituencies:


• The current demands for flexible access to theological education

• The trends of learning online (formally and informally)

• The ethos of life-long learning among many (ongoing professional development culture)

• The rising demands for micro-credentials


• The organisational management of Tilsley’s extension ministries

• A technical platform to offer training via internet: e-learning and self-directed learning modes

• To embrace what we believe to be a niche in the marketplace of Theological Education / Continuous Personal Development

• Meet the Strategic Plan, namely: "Developing existing plans for e-learning provision with Tilsley College by establishing learning platforms that will multiply access to learning for those unable to commit to residential training."

The Plan

Tilsley Academy will be a collective for the extension ministries of Tilsley College. Tilsley Academy is an initiative that is inspired in its structural framework by ICETE Academy for theological educators and has been developed with the blessing of Marvin Oxenham, its CEO. Tilsley Academy will have quite different content from the ICETE Academy.

The Academy will be a website based learning environment through which registered students will be able to access learning. It will offer a range of courses that are all designed to ‘equip God’s people for God’s work in God’s world’. The Academy will operate under the same general ethos and values that guide the College and in particular will be shaped by the vision summarised by:

thinking | discipleship | training