(Arthur) Michael Hollis was educated at Leeds Grammar School and Trinity College Oxford. He attended Leeds Clergy School, 1922, and was ordained a deacon in 1923, and a priest in 1924.
Hollis was curate of St Andrew's, Huddersfield from 1923-1924, Chaplain and Lecturer in Theology, Hertford College, Oxford University, 1926-1931, and Lecturer at St Peter's, Leeds, 1931. From 1931-1937 he was an SPG missionary, based at Bishop's Theological Seminary, Nazareth in the diocese of Tinnevelly, India, though he returned to England to become Perpetual Curate at St Mary's Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire in 1937. He returned to India on his appointment to the bishopric of Madras in 1942, and after the formation of the Church of South India he retained this position until 1948. He then became Moderator of the Church of South India, a position he held until 1954. From 1955-1960 he was Professor of Church History at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India, after which he returned to England to hold a variety of positions including Second Assistant Bishop to the Bishop of Sheffield, 1963-1966, and Assistant Bishop in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, 1966-1975.