Shorter Academies

Nourish your spiritual life. Find community. Ground yourself in God.


A “taste” of the Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, Shorter Academies (Five-Day, Three-Day, and Two-Day retreats) invite participants to spend time apart in a Christian retreat setting with worship at the center. Each Shorter Academy asks faculty to present on a particular theme and offers participants time and space to respond to this theme through silence, written and spoken word, prayer, worship, and community sharing.

Shorter Academies are sponsored by local ecclesiastical bodies under the guidance of The Upper Room®.


For all who hunger for deep spiritual experience.

Shorter Academies are for both clergy and lay, designed for both head and heart. They provide structured space both for communicating knowledge about Christian spiritual formation and experiencing it.

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are available for each Five-Day Academy for a fee of $15.


Registration fees vary depending on the cost of the retreat center, the duration of the retreat, and the financial support given by the sponsoring ecclesiastical body. Registration fees include room, board, tuition, and fees. Books and travel required for the week are an additional cost.

A typical registration fee for a Five-Day Academy in 2016 ranged from $575 to $750.

"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