• Monday , 24 July 2017

The Academy for Spiritual Formation in Russia

Russian Academy pict

Last summer, a group of Russian pastors and church lay leaders traveled by train for up to eleven hours while others traveled by bus on bumpy, narrow roads for nearly twelve hours to attend the Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation in Voronezh, Russia. This was not an easy or inexpensive trek for the thirty-nine participants who took the long trip and time away from work and family to experience The Academy, a program ministry of The Upper Room.

To ensure the event was set apart, the leadership team—who also traveled long distances—arrived at the retreat center days early to create quiet spaces for participants by planting flowers and building crosses.

“The Academy was a time of deep spiritual transformation and experiencing God’s presence for the participants,” says Katya Kim, assistant to Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasia Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church. She and Bishop Khegay both served on The Academy leadership team in Russia. “We have already started to plan our next Academy and look forward to it,” Kim adds.

Hungry for the unique nourishment offered by The Academy for Spiritual Formation, people in Russia and throughout the world go to great lengths for the experience.

However, they can’t do it on their own. Generous donors like YOU make that possible. Thanks to The Academy Scholarship Fund, Kim, Bishop Khegay, and four other Eurasian leaders were able to experience a Five-Day Academy in Georgia so they could take the model home and offer it in Russia. In addition, The Academy Scholarship Fund allowed us to make scholarship awards this year to over twenty-five participants in Two-Year Academy #37 at Camp Sumatanga who could not have afforded to participate without that support.

As you plan your year-end giving, please consider a donation to The Academy for Spiritual Formation Scholarship Fund. Your gifts have a direct impact in the lives of fellow spiritual pilgrims who come to The Academy . . . but it doesn’t stop there. Those persons go on to share the fruit of that gift with others—maybe even in faraway places like Russia. A gift to The Academy for Spiritual Formation Scholarship Fund is an investment in a better world.

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For more information about the Academy, visit

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  1. Becky Potter
    December 17, 2015 at 11:48 am Reply

    I rejoice at this great news about the Five Day Academy in Russia. This was being prayed and planned into being when Bishop Khegay attended the 2013 Five Day Academy in Illinois with two others from Eurasia. Thanks be to God!

  2. Claire
    December 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for celebrating The Academy in Russia with us, Becky! Thanks be to God, indeed.

  3. Johnny
    December 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm Reply

    Thanks, Becky! The team made a video to celebrate the event and share it with us. It’s beautiful. You can view it here:

  4. Donna Fowler-Marchant
    December 27, 2015 at 6:50 pm Reply

    This is wonderful news. My husband and I have been involved with Russian missions for years and even adopted our children from there. I pray for the work of the UMC amongst the people of that amazing country. Thanks be to God for the vision and gifts that made this possible!

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