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What Is Joshua?

JOSHUA is a programme of study in Christian theology and practice providing a quality, college-level education to those who are situated in a local church. In light of the need for well-trained servants of the Gospel, JOSHUA aims better to equip men and women for church leadership, preaching and teaching, providing pastoral care, and evangelism. The JOSHUA programme is designed to deliver flexible training to people who could not normally access this kind of education in the midst of their busy lives - working, parenting, volunteering, caring for relatives, etc. JOSHUA offers its students a realistic opportunity to maintain these activities while studying to develop better skills for personal growth and Christian ministry.

How is Joshua delivered?

Each year JOSHUA is delivered over 22 taught sessions of two hours duration. Students will greatly benefit from personal study in reviewing material being taught and exploring additional learning outside of class. There may also be some additional time spent on assignments where these are required (notionally 8 hours per assignment). Teaching takes place in class, whether at Tilsley College or a Joshua Centre, or in a virtual classroom using the College’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

The programme is designed around a three-way partnership between the student, their local church, and Tilsley College. Students are asked for a church leader’s reference in the application. JOSHUA is open to all to apply, but it is hoped that churches will nominate key people to follow this training. The church can support their nominees through their studies in prayer, practice and possibly some financial support if necessary.

The full support of local church leaders is vital. Each local church should, in consultation with the student, arrange a mentor for their JOSHUA participant. Mentors endeavour to help students promote personal spiritual growth and develop specific skills. The student will, in the course of study, be learning about some key ministry roles, e.g. in personal evangelism, public speaking, leadership skills, pastoral care, etc. Opportunity to practise these developing skills under a wise and godly mentor will be key to the student’s personal growth and ministry development. The local church can provide opportunities to gain such experience in the relevant area(s).


JOSHUA began at Tilsley College, but over the years it has blossomed and grown as many churches from across the UK have taken up the programme in their own local contexts. The flexible nature of JOSHUA has meant that a number of JOSHUA Centres have grown up where context specific delivery times and content have been shaped to suit.

Even so, JOSHUA Motherwell continues to run the programme at Tilsley College in an evening class format which is delivered over two years. Year One & Year Two operate modularly, so a student can always start in September of each academic year, regardless of which year may be running. We do, of course, recommend a year one, year two approach where that is possible but it is not essential.

JOSHUA Motherwell is a two-year programme which introduces topics that are essential for all Christians who are looking to serve God more effectively in a local church. In broad terms, the topics will include biblical studies, theological studies, and apologetics as well as a range of practical topics like spiritual formation, personal evangelism, pastoral care, public speaking, and leadership skills. The material, which has been developed by Tilsley, is matched to an appropriate academic level that allows the College to provide certification of the credits gained by completing the course. This may be counted as formal academic credits if all the course requirements are met: attendance, course assignments, and mentoring records.

A JOSHUA Centre can be set up wherever there is a group of potential participants from one or more churches who would like to follow the JOSHUA programme but who are not geographically able to reach Motherwell or feel that online delivery is not for them. Usually this would involve at least 10 participants. Smaller groups would be encouraged to access JOSHUA through Tilsley College’s online provision (JOSHUA Online). Each Centre would need a Centre leader who liaises with the College over the practical arrangements and delivery of the programme, and a Centre venue which is most likely to be a local church. These Centres can be anywhere in the UK & Ireland. The programme can be (within reason) tailored to the local needs and may include specialist streams of study alongside the foundational material in biblical and theological studies (e.g. more time may be allocated to pastoral care, or Christian leadership if that is required.) Please contact Tilsley College for more details. WHAT DOES A CENTRE LEADER DO?
Once a Centre Leader has made contact and registered with the College, they will be given access to the College’s Virtual Learning Environment and thus all the teaching materials. The Centre Leader will be the key liaison person with the College. It is the Centre Leader’s responsibility to ensure the materials are passed on to the participants. A register needs to be kept so that the College can monitor students’ attendance. The Centre Leader should also arrange for payment of fees to the College, and expenses to lecturers. Information on the College’s policy on expenses will be supplied by the College as part of the process of setting up a JOSHUA Centre. The Centre Leader needs to consider the cost of running a JOSHUA Centre which does vary, but the following aspects need to be taken into account: • Cost of venue, including teas/coffees etc
• Expenses and honoraria for lecturers
• Expenses for the Centre Leader
• Fees to Tilsley College

Joshua Online combines the same robust and demonstrably academic excellence of College-based material with the advantage of easier remote access in homes or local churches. The teaching is the same as that delivered at JOSHUA Motherwell and is provided by Tilsley College lecturers, supplemented by experienced local church leaders. The material, which has been developed by Tilsley, is matched to an appropriate academic level that allows the College to provide certification of the credits gained by completing the course. This may be counted as formal academic credits if all the course requirements are met: attendance, course assignments, and mentoring records.


JOSHUA Motherwell, JOSHUA Centre and JOSHUA Online Individual Registration

The normal cost for attending JOSHUA Motherwell at the College or at a remote JOSHUA Centre or as an individual accessing JOSHUA Online is £220 per year.

Group discounts are available where a JOSHUA Centre Leader takes responsibility for a JOSHUA Centre or a JOSHUA Online group. As extra responsibilities are placed on the local leader in running a JOSHUA Online group, the costs are adjusted somewhat.

Where participants gather for communal access and virtual classroom learning through JOSHUA Online the costs will be as follows:

Participant Numbers Cost 2 £400 3 (including a group leader at £50) £450 For every additional member £200 So, e.g. 10 participants = 3 (£450) + 7 (@£200) = £450 + £1400 = £1850 (ave £185 pp) For groups over 10 please contact the college for a negotiated rate.

Each JOSHUA Centre will pay Tilsley College a set fee of £1000 for any group up to, and including, 20 participants. JOSHUA Centre leaders bear the brunt of the responsibility in organising and administering their Centre. Other costs will need to be borne locally and a Centre leader may set a local fee to help defray expenses. If a JOSHUA Centre plans to have more than 20 participants, please contact the College for a revised fee. The £1000 fee paid to Tilsley College only covers the following: • The use of all JOSHUA teaching materials etc, accessed electronically through the College’s VLE
• The production of Tilsley College certificates of completion for those participants who meet the relevant criteria
• The provision of a College lecturer, or College approved lecturer, for 3 evenings of the programme to teach in person at the JOSHUA Centre including all travel and other expenses.


If you would like to register for JOSHUA please complete the electronic application form here.

If you are interested in setting up a JOSHUA Centre, please contact the college for more details:

Tilsley College, GLO Centre, 78 Muir Street, Motherwell, ML1 1BN

e: OR

t: 01698 266776

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