The Academy for Spiritual Formation

November 15, 2012

By the Rev. Greg Bergquist
Conference Superintendent for Leadership Development

Cultivating one's own spiritual life is not easy in the world in which we live. Our life too often is dominated by competing loyalties, uncertainties and fears, and a sense of disharmony. Highly motivated people who seek to be spiritual leaders recognize that there must be a better way. And they seek a place – a community of faith – in which they may grow in grace, peace, and strength.
 
For nearly 30 years, the Academy for Spiritual Formation has been such a place for clergy and laity. Offering a holistic spirituality of body, mind, and spirit, the Academy has provided an important environment of grace for the people of faith. Balancing academic and experiential learning, the Academy has been called "the finest and most comprehensive, ecumenical non-degree program in Christian spirituality in the country" (Marjorie Thompson, author of Soul Feast).
 
The next Academy is scheduled to begin Jan. 13-18, 2013, at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California. It is a two-year process of learning, meeting for one week each quarter of the year, equating to eight weeks of experiential, on-site learning, along with self-study and reflection between meeting times. The total cost for the two-year program, including tuition, room, and board, is $6900 (paid in installments over the two-year period). However, because of a matching scholarship program between the Upper Room Ministries, the Council on Clergy Development, and the Committee on Lay Leadership Development, scholarships are available through the Conference Office.
 
If you are interested in participating in the Academy, you can find a complete 20-page prospectus, including application, at www.upperroom.org/academy. The application deadline is Dec. 17, 2012.
 
If you have questions or need further information, please contact me at gregb@calnevumc.org or 916.374.1506.