Growing Demand for the Academy for Spiritual Formation

October 27, 2017 by Claire K. McKeever-Burgett (Tennessee)

The Academy for Spiritual Formation announces it will launch two separate Two-Year Academies in 2018—one in Danville, CA and one in Gallant, AL—to meet growing demands of church leaders and to be more accessible across the US.

People wanting to deepen their spiritual lives now have the opportunity to seek wisdom, renewal, community, worship, and prayer in both the Northwest and Southeast regions of the United States.

“We’re excited for these Academy communities to form next year,” said Rev. Stephen Bryant, publisher of The Upper Room. “We look forward to welcoming new people into our spiritual formation work, trusting we have much to learn from those who join us at these Two-Year Academies."

Previous Two-Year participants describe The Academy as life-changing, restorative, and spiritually grounding, a necessary offering in an age of deep division and political posturing.

Online registration and more information about both Academies is here. The application process for both is now open. Scholarships are available for those who need financial support.

Academy #40 begins July 29, 2018 at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville, CA (near Oakland and San Francisco), and Academy #41 begins August 27, 2018 at Camp Sumatanga Retreat Center (near Birmingham, AL). The Academy creates safe space for people to connect with God, self, others, and creation for the sake of the world. Learn more about The Academy here.

Since 1983, the Academy for Spiritual Formation has offered an environment for spiritually hungry pilgrims, whether lay or clergy, that combines academic learning with experience in spiritual disciplines and community. The Academy for Spiritual Formation is a part of The Upper Room, a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual life of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully. 

For additional information about the Academy, contact Claire McKeever-Burgett at or 615-340-7239.

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The Art is Outside

“As the curator of The Upper Room Chapel and Museum, it is my task to highlight art and draw the viewer into the work itself. On clear days, the art is outside The Upper Room Chapel: gorgeous pink blossom clouds of the Japanese Magnolia trees. The blossoms don’t last very long. If you are in the Nashville area, take a few minutes to stop by and enjoy them. ‘We recognize God’s presence in the world around us,’ the author of The Mystic in You says. ‘Sometimes it comes because of our intentional spiritual practices. Other times, it comes when we least expect it and do not feel as though we deserve it.  … Geese flying overhead and a dog running in its sleep become windows into eternity when we pause, notice and open to the wonder of all being.’ Sometimes it is in a pink cloud of blossoms.”