This month, the Academy Podcast features Luther Smith’s teaching from Academy 29 in Burlingame, CA. His lecture on “Faithfulness within Conflict” reminds us that conflict should be embraced as a pathway to healing. Ultimately, Dr. Smith invites us to deal with conflict because “Our obedience requires it.” The question he asks us is, “will we engage conflict confidently and creatively, or will we find ourselves unprepared?” Listen on, dear one, and as you listen, breathe deeply and expand gently for our world is in deep conflict and, as Luther suggests, it has always been.

Luther Smith is an ordained elder in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, longtime Academy faculty person, and a member of The Academy Advisory Board. Luther spent 35 years of his career as an activist, scholar, and professor at Candler School of Theology, and he is known to be an authority on the life and theology of Howard Thurman. Luther is Professor Emeritus of Church and Community at Candler. His current research focuses on the writings and  correspondence of Howard Thurman, advocacy on behalf of children, and a spirituality of hope. He is married to Helen Pearson Smith and lives in Stone Mountain, GA. They have four children and five grandchildren.

If you would like to hear Luther Smith teach in person, he will be one of our faculty presenters for Spirituality in Practice: Embodied Imagination for Life and Liberation. This newest offering from The Academy for Spiritual is a unique six-session hybrid model that consists of three immersive, five-day in-person retreats and three online one-day retreats plus monthly two-hour online practice sessions to support integration of learnings and nurture community. Spirituality in Practice is structured to provide an in-depth spiritual journey while keeping the time and financial commitments at more manageable levels. We are accepting applications now. Session 1 begins September 6, 2024, in Mundelein, IL (near Chicago). Find more details and apply here

Show Notes:
Order Luther Smith’s new book Hope is Here: Spiritual Practices for Pursuing Justice and Beloved Community.

Episode tracks: “Far Side of the Sea,” “Versailles,” and “Fearless” by Amy Stroup, used with permission.

For more information and resources visit:

Support Our Work
If the Academy Podcast or any of the ministries of The Academy for Spiritual Formation have benefited your life and spirituality, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to show your support. You can learn more about how your gifts make a difference at