The Academy for Spiritual Formation provides a setting for individual and communal spiritual formation, where people can meet God. In Acts 2:42, those baptized "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." These four actions -- teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer -- form the basis for the Academy experience.
Two courses are offered at each session of the Two-Year Academy. Faculty members for each course are present throughout the week and participate in feedback sessions.
Morning sessions focus on historical/institution spirituality (how spirituality is organized). During the first session, participants learn about attentiveness to the Word (spiritual formation and scripture). In following sessions, Biblical foundations explore the spirituality of the Hebrew community (Psalms) and the new Testament (the life of Jesus and the Christian community). Later sessions look at Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant spirituality. The final two session explore spirtitual leadership in a global context and in sustaining life with Christ).
Afternoon sessions focus on practical/theological spirituality (how spirituality is done). The first session explores traditions of Christian spirituality. In following sessions, spiritual practices look at corporate worship, spiritual disciplines, and spiritual friendship. Formation in Christ sessions explore prayer and discernment, and spirituality and ways of healing. The final two sessions (spiritual leadership) look at local faith communities and bearing witness in the world.
Two-Year Academies meet in residence (in the same location) for five days each calendar quarter (total of 40 days).
The first year (sessions 1-4) focuses on the inward journey with Christ; the second year (sessions 5-8) begins to shift to outward aspects of spiritual leadership. Throughout the two years, participants engage in spiritual practices of body, mind and spirit in the context of a supportive community.
Between sessions, participants covenant to deepen their spiritual lives through journaling, spiritual direction, reading, and care of the physical body. First and second year covenant commitments provide a focus for spiritual growth and a focus for one's engagement in the world.
A Typical Day at the Academy
A typical day at the Academy (both Two-Year and Five-Day) includes morning, evening (with communion), and night prayer; morning and afternoon learning sessions; silence and solitude for prayer and reflection; feedback with the faculty; community time; covenant groups; and meals.
A typical schedule might include:
|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.|
The Spiritual Community ...
In surprising and delightful ways, the Academy means relationships.
Worship, silence, reflection, covenant groups -- all lead deeper and deeper into the struggles and joys of communal life. We begin as individuals, seeking to find a place for our own soul's journey. Along the way, we discover there are other pilgrims who share our longing. We are reminded how much God loves community, how much God is community! Ecumanically and theologically diverse, participants in the Academy discover the joy of our differences. Diversity is encouraged; not suppressed.
Loving, spiritual guidance for the community is offered by the leadership team. These are persons who have completed the two year Academy and they are there for you as servant leaders. Two faculty presenters offer guidance at each session; they are authors, seminary professors, monks, spiritual directors and pastors, carefully chosen for both their knowledge and their wisdom.
Spiritual Leadership for the Church and the World ...
The Church and the world long for spiritual leaders of all kinds who strive first for the Reign of God in the world (Mt 6:33): extroverts and introvers, lovers and dreamers, builders and thinkers. The Church and the world need passionate, persistent, authentic, well-grounded people of faith, centered in the love of God. Spiritual leaders who abide in the Source (Jn. 15:5) bring fresh energy and new life to the world that needs them. The Academy is a proven place for renewal and call. We welcome your application.