Worship shapes the heart and soul of the Academy. With forty or fifty participants, the Academy community is just the right size or rich worship experiences. Following ancient practices, the day begins with Morning Prayer and closes with Night Prayer; we begin and end each day with God. The Sacrament of Holy Communion or Eucharist is celebrated every day as well, a time to "taste and see the goodness of the Lord." The Upper Room Worshipbook offers a wide variety of musical selections and liturgies that are theologically sound and appropriate for this spiritual formation journey.
Throughout the week you will meet in a small group called a covenant group. Here you will be invited to reflect on your spiritual journey and share how God is working in you during the Academy. As the week goes on, the covenant group can be a sacred place for spiritual growth and intimacy.
Two faculty presenters provide the primary content of your Five Day Academy. These persons are chosen for their knowledge about a certain topic (scripture, church history, prayer, Christian spirituality, etc.) and for their integrity as faith practitioners. Their knowledge and wisdom encourage deeper faith and an integrity of witness in the lives of the particiipants.
Besides these two faculty presenters, one other "teacher" should be mentioned and that is silence. From the earliest days, Christians have seen the importance of silence for hearing what God is saying to us. While new for some, many have found this to be one of the most valuable aspects of their first Academy experience.
A Typical Day ...
|10:00-11:00||Silence and solitude for prayer and reflection|
|11:00-11:30||Plenary discussion with faculty|
|3:30-4:30||Silence and solitude for prayer and reflection|
|4:30-5:00||Plenary discussion with faculty|
|6:45-7:30||Options or Free Time|
|Silence is kept in the rooms and halls during the night until Morning Prayer.|
Five Day Academy Participants ...
A basic knowledge of the Christian faith is assumed, and so is a willingness to struggle. Some participants may be skeptical in their faith and others may be deeply trusting; the key is a desire to grow in one's relationship to God. Along with a mix of clergy and laity, several denominations may be represented. All are welcome to Five Day Academies.
You are not expected to be an expert on the Bible or on Christian spirituality. You may be encouraged to read a couple of books in preparation for your Five Day Academy. You will not be asked to assume a major leadership role during the week. This is your place to retreat, rest and grow!
Handicap Accessibility ...
Most retreat facilities strive to be handicap accessible, though not all comply with A.D.A. guidelines. Contact the registrar or retreat leader of a specific Five Day Academy for information about the retreat you will be using.
Fees vary depending on the cost of the retreat center and the financial support offered by the sponsoring judicatory (Annual Conference, Presbytery, Synod, etc.). The cost includes room, board, tuition and fees, but not books. Typical costs in 2015 range from $525 - $875.
Certificate for Continuing Education Units (CEU's) ...
Three CEUs are available for each Five Day Academy for a fee of $15. A form will be available for you when you arrive at the Academy.
Five Day Academies for Spiritual Formation are sponsored by a judicatory (Annual Conference, District, Presbytery, Area, Synod) under the guidance of The Upper Room. The Upper Room developed The Academy for Spiritual Formation in 1983 in response to a desire to help people deepen their spiritual life.
Find a listing of upcoming Five Day Academies in the Events Schedule.