Elements of the Academy


Each of us have a rhythm to our days, often fast-paced and frenetic, aching for a pause for breath.
The Academy rhythm offers a pace for a week that is significantly different than most of our days and a model from which we might we might incorporate aspects into our daily, back-home schedule.

We invite you to embrace the rhythm that it might open your heart to receive from God's gracious love and peace.


Silence does not come easy, especially for those who are extroverts.
We are plugged in and bombarded with sound almost from the time our eyes open until they close in sleep.

We will have an hour of silence after each presenter and the Great Silence from end of night prayer until morning prayer begins.

Silence, especially in the Arizona desert, may be the most surprising gift the Academy offers you.
At the Redemptorist Center you will see artwork with the verse from Hosea, “I will lead you into the wilderness where I will speak to your heart.” God is always speaking, but we must be quiet to hear.


We each have our worshiping homes of what style worship speaks to us the most. Worship during the Academy is fairly contemplative in expression. This may or may not be a worship style with which you are most comfortable, but we ask that you come ready to experience what God will say to you during worship. The beautiful thing about worship is that the Spirit is not dependent upon a particular style of worship or tempo of music to move, inspire and teach our hearts.

Some of you may want to be involved with reading etc. in worship; some of you will choose this time to be participants instead of leaders. We will have worship leader participation sign up available the first day and welcome those who want to read or help with communion.


Most of the music that we will sing at the Academy can be found in the Upper Room Worshipbook or The Faith We Sing.
Many of the congregational songs you will probably know; some may be new kindling for your spiritual life.

Our worship leaders will contact participants before October asking if anyone would like to sing or bring an instrument to play.

Covenant Groups

Before your arrival you will be prayerfully placed into covenant groups with a facilitator. These nightly groups are an integral part of the spiritual formation of an Academy week.
In these groups we are able to express our thoughts and questions from the day, hear other's insights, and experience the movement of the Holy in our midst.

Covenant group facilitators will meet daily with our covenant group coordinator so all participants can have the richest experience possible.

Free Time

After lunch each day is yours to do as you wish. Hiking, walking the labyrinth, picture taking, browsing in the bookstore, napping, writing and visiting are among some of the favorite activities.

We encourage staying on campus and staying away from technology so you can become fully immersed in retreat and renewal.

Snacks and Drinks

We will provide a table of snacks each day. The center also has coffee, hot water for tea and tea bags, and usually fruit available in between meals. We encourage you to bring a refillable water bottle.