We welcome your application for a Two-Year Academy®. Applications are reviewed for acceptance when all recommendation letters have been received and the two-page essay is submitted. We encourage applicants to apply early before spaces fill, and will continue to receive applications for a wait list after the maximum is received. The deadline for application is determined when an Academy has reached its maximum with a wait list. Scholarship application deadlines are listed with each event, typically 6-8 weeks prior to session one.


If you are interested in a 5-Day Academy, locate an event and contact the Registrar or Retreat Leader for more information.

You are invited to make application for the two-year Academy.  The dates and locations for the Academy are listed on the Events Schedule.  Qualities of Applicants are shown below and can be downloaded in PDF format to share with recommenders. Please note that the application calls for a two-page essay response and three letters of reference.

               Dates have been selected to allow for rotating arrival and departure schedules, where possible, under the assumption that ending on Saturday afternoons may be better for clergy and ending on Sunday afternoons may be better for laity.  This is not possible in all cases due to retreat center constraints.  Please note carefully the dates for the Academy you select.  Participants should make every effort to be present for the entirety of each session.  Please plan to arrive by 4:30 p.m. on the first afternoon of each session of the Academy.  Departure should be scheduled after lunch on the last day.

               The Academy for Spiritual Formation® is ecumenical and inclusive.  It is open to all persons who are seeking God and wish to grow in Christian community with other seekers.  Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as every effort is made to find host retreat centers that are fully ADA compliant.[1]

If you have difficulty in applying online, please contact the Academy Office at 1-877-899-2780, ext. 7233 (toll-free) or 615-340-7233 or e-mail us at

1] Conditions vary at each location.  Contact the retreat center directly if you have questions.

Preparing to Apply Online

To facilitate the online process, you may wish to have the following information/items in advance:

  • A photo of yourself in JPG format
  • A two-page essay answering these two questions:
  1. What attracts you to this program?
  2. What important life experiences do you have behind this attraction?
  • A list of three recommenders (name, email, telephone)
  1. One person who knows you on a personal basis
  2. One person who participates with you in a Christian community
  3. One person who is aware of your skills and potential

Select a Two-Year Academy and APPLY ONLINE

Qualities of Applicants / Criteria

  • Sense a call to a spiritually focused personal ministry (lay or clergy).
  • Have had this call affirmed by others who can vouch for his/her spiritually helpful gifts, and/or the earnest desire for the same.
  • Desire to give significant priority to personal spiritual growth and to be involved with the spiritual formation of others.
  • Have significant life experience and maturity.
  • Desire a serious, experientially and academically oriented, exploratory two-year program with an ecumenical mix of peers and staff.
  • Are open to a variety of Christian spiritual traditions.
  • Have a willingness to engage in a program of study that involves considerable reading.
  • Are affirmed or sponsored for the program by a local church, judicatory, religious community, seminary, counseling center, or other suitable sponsor that will help encourage their work.
  • Have a capacity to enter into and contribute to an intense spiritual community even when it may include struggle or conflict.
  • Have openness for racial ethnic and cultural diversity within the Body of Christ.
Download Criteria to provide to recommenders PDF