Five Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

January 26, 2022

Seeing Anew, Living Forward


Are you struggling with burnout? Ready to see anew and live forward? The Academy for Spiritual Formation is inviting all Methodists in Louisiana to a five-day retreat May 1-6, 2022 at the Wesley Center in Louisiana.

This is your chance to surround yourself with a disciplined Christian community that emphasizes holistic spirituality – nurturing body, mind, and spirit. It is intended for both clergy and laypersons who hunger for rich spiritual experiences. The retreat will follow a rhythm of study, prayer, rest, and community.

You will experience a setting where morning and evening prayer and Holy Communion frame each day. You will also experience a place to discover Christianity’s rich, spiritual heritage through worship, learning, and fellowship.

This is your time to learn, discern and share your spiritual journey with others; a time of learning new ways to deepen our relationship with God and learning how to live as faithful witnesses of God’s love in this world.

The Faculty


Dr. Amy Oden

Visiting Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology.

She has served on the faculties of Oklahoma City University and Wesley Theological Seminary where she also served as Dean. Amy’s scholarship illuminates ancient wisdom for contemporary life, including books on women’s writings, welcoming the stranger and most recently, Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness (Abingdon Press, 2017).

Her passion is to introduce spiritual practices that can ground and nourish lives for justice in the world. “We will explore mindfulness practice in the Christian tradition and its application today.”


Jerry Webber, “The Parables as Spiritual Guides”

Jerry is a teacher, spiritual guide, writer, and retreat leader. After 16 years as a Senior Pastor, he founded The Center for Christian Spirituality at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas as an intentional ministry of spiritual formation and contemplative life. He served as lead pastor and spiritual guide of The Center for 18 years.

In 2018, he transitioned into the next season of life, continuing to companion people who desire a deepening connection with God that makes a difference in the world. He now offers guidance to congregations and persons in contemplative life through spiritual direction, speaking, writing, and consulting.

Jerry resides with his wife Paula in Bella Vista, Arkansas, where he enjoys spending time outdoors, reading and writing poetry, and his grandchildren.


Elise Eslinger, Worship Leader

Elise is one of the foremost leaders, teachers, writers and consultants in Worship, Music and Spiritual Formation.

Editor of the Upper Room Worshipbook and writer of many of the resources in the book, Elise will be leading our worship during this Five-Day Academy. She and her husband Dick live in Townsend, Tennessee.


Recommended Reading for the Academy


The Cost

The Registration fee includes lodging, meals, lectures, and materials. Registration for a single occupancy is $650 per person. Due to COVID protocols, we are unable to offer double occupancy. After April 1, rates are $700 per person. Registration must be accompanied by a $100 non-refundable deposit. Final payment is due by May 1, 2022.

Register Now


This Event is Sponsored by:

  • The Upper Room
  • United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana
  • UMC Conferences of AR, LA, MS
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of MS

AR/LA/MS 5-Day Academy Team

  • Craig Davis Elise Eslinger
  • Catherine Long Susan Meadors
  • Roy Smith Mechelle Stockett
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