An Invitation to Give

Our Established Funds

The Academy for Spiritual Formation seeks to create transformative space for people to be in communion with God, self, others, and creation for the sake of the world. To be successful in this endeavor, The Academy needs financial support for daily operations, scholarships for participants, and its endowment funds in order to sustain its ministry and growth in the years to come. A ministry of The Upper Room, The Academy receives no money from the United Methodist Church or any other ecumenical organization. We exist because of generous donors like YOU.

Description of Funds


Since participants’ fees or scholarships do not cover the daily operations of The Academy office, The Upper Room subsidizes every Two-Year participant’s journey by an estimated $1500. Gifts to this unrestricted general fund help to offset the critical infrastructure that The Academy home office provides including program oversight, registration support, and communication needs. Without this core support, The Academy mission would suffer. The goal of this fund is to invest in the ongoing efforts it takes each year to keep the ministry growing and vital.


Deciding to attend a Two-Year Academy is a huge personal and financial investment, so knowing that scholarship funds are available to help with costs makes a big difference. Nearly 50% of all Academy participants require scholarship assistance in order to attend the Two-Year Academy. As costs related to hosting a Two-Year Academy continue to increase, the need for scholarship monies also increases. The goal of this fund is to make The Academy more accessible to participants who would not otherwise be able to attend because of financial barriers.


Established in 2004, this endowment was created to attract and retain the best faculty to offer strong academic astuteness along with deep faith and disciplined spiritual practice. It serves as a permanent fund that will generate annual returns to sustain the ministry. The Leadership Endowment Fund was renamed in memory of John Mogabgab after his death in 2014. John was the founding editor of Weavings: A Journal of the Spiritual Life, one of the dreamers and architects of The Academy, and the theologian of the first Academy hosted in 1983.


Established in 2002, the purpose of this endowment is to provide a foundation of support for participants who need scholarship funds. The Scholarship Endowment generates annual returns that feed the ongoing scholarship fund, which is used by approximately one half of all Academy attendees.

What Does My Gift Do?

Your gift helps us…

  • Provide scholarships for those who could not participate without financial aid.
  • Establish new Academy communities outside the U.S. in places like Cuba, Russia, Korea, Bolivia, Ireland, and South Africa.
  • Offer Academy experiences in multiple languages and cultural expressions.
  • Recruit faculty and spiritual leaders of the highest quality of academic knowledge and spiritual wisdom.
  • Explore new, innovative ways of making The Academy experience more accessible to people of all walks of life.
  • Sustain and grow our mission of creating safe space for people to be in communion with God, self, others, and creation, for the sake of the world.

Ways to Give

You can give in these ways:


Give regularly to The Academy for Spiritual Formation through The Upper Room Fellowship Circle. Members of the Fellowship Circle set up an automatic bank withdrawal of any amount as part of their systematic giving. Small, sustaining gifts make a huge impact on the growth of The Academy. Visit The Upper Room Fellowship Circle and select The Academy for Spiritual Formation in the ‘Gift Designation’ field.


Make a one-time gift by donating online, or make a check payable to The Academy for Spiritual Formation and mail to Fellowship of Upper Room Ministries, P.O. Box 305150, Nashville, TN 37230-5150. See above for a description of funds to which you can designate your gift.


Make traditional gift-giving occasions particularly meaningful. Whether it is Mother’s/Father’s Day, a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or retirement celebration, consider asking those who are celebrating with you to give a donation to The Academy in lieu of personal gifts.


Honor the memory of your loved one by making a gift in their name. All memorial gifts will be acknowledged through a personal note to the family of your loved one.


Leave The Academy for Spiritual Formation in your will by designating a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. Such a bequest emphasizes your values and can reduce the income of your taxable estate, which may increase the actual amount available to loved ones. If you plan to leave a gift to The Academy in your will please let us know so we can offer our gratitude now.

"The Academy for Spiritual Formation is the finest and most comprehensive, ecumenical non-degree program in spiritual formation in this country."
Rev. Marjorie J. Thompson, Teacher, retreat leader, and author of SoulFeast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life
"The Academy experience is one of sacred time and sacred space with a sacred process of coming to self, others, and God."
Luther Smith, Professor Emeritus of Church and Community, Emory University
"The Academy is a beautiful example of the reconfiguring of Protestantism. It's the kind of thing I would hope to see happening more."
Phyllis Tickle, Founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly and a leading authority on religion in America.
"The Academy gets to the heart of the church."
Rev. Trevor Hudson, South African pastor, Upper Room Books author, and international retreat leader.
"The Academy has been a gift of time and space to learn how to be sustainable in ministry. There I could drink deeply from the well and be filled and discover once again that God's grace is sufficient."
"Jesus saved my life, but The Academy saved my ministry."
Ruben Ortiz, Pastor
"The Academy for Spiritual Formation gave me the space, the time, the support, and the model I needed to learn again that God loves me deeply. This is my true story, and The Academy helped me discover it."
Kristen Vincent, Upper Room Books author and Academy alum
"The Academy provides one of the most holistic programs of spiritual nurture available today."
Robert Mulholland, Seminary professor and author of Shaped by the Word
"The Academy offers a structured, supportive community in which Christians can learn Christian history as a resource for their own spiritual growth in the love of God and neighbor, take risks spiritually, and find the courage to submit to God for healing the very parts of themselves they most reject. I am committed to support it."
Roberta Bondi, Seminary faculty and author of To Love as God Loves and Wild Things