The Spurgeon Sabbatical

The Spurgeon Sabbatical is a ten-day sabbatical for pastors in ministry. This program provides rest and community for pastors through deep study of Scripture, corporate worship and fellowship.

About  |  Program Details  |  Registration  |  Contact

About the Spurgeon Sabbatical


Spurgeon Sabbatical

The purpose of the Spurgeon Sabbatical is to offer renewal for those who are called to carry the 'weight of souls.' The conviction that drives the Spurgeon Sabbatical is that the best way to gain new perspectives and power for the pastoral ministry is through serious study of the Scriptures within a community context of worship, prayer, discussion and fellowship. If you are interested in such a 'counter-cultural' pastor's retreat, we invite you to come away this summer with a small group of pastors for an intense time of study, worship, reflection, prayer and conversation about what it means in our day and age to "exhaust our lives for Jesus."


The community begins and ends each day with worship. In between you will join with the other pastors to strengthen community - gathering for times around the table, times at play and times of hearty conversation. This is an excellent opportunity to be renewed and to gain new perspective on your ministry.


Dr. Sean McDonough, professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell, will be the leader for the 2013 Spurgeon Sabbatical.  He received his B.A. from Harvard College, his M.Div. and M.Th. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews. He specializes in the life of Jesus, apocalyptic literature, the book of Revelation, Creation, New Testament studies, fantasy literature, heaven, and ethics and values.  He is loved by students for his passion for the Word of God, his pastoral heart, and ability to tie in details with the big picture.


What People Have Said

"The Sabbatical has been spiritually 'recharging,' an academic delight and just plain fun. The mix of study, worship and community give a depth of refreshment and spirituality which combined to exceed my prayers."

"What I did not expect was how tight and close the community would become. I think this is the added bonus. Not only do I have resources that will preach, I have twelve new brothers in the faith!"

[Back to top]

Program Details

The cost is $750.00 and includes: program, meals on campus for ten days (Monday supper through Thursday breakfast) and two textbooks (these will be mailed to you prior to the retreat). The cost does not include housing, travel to and from Gordon-Conwell, or any non-programed events (i.e. day trips or dining off-campus). A $200 minimum deposit is required at registration.

Spurgeon Sabbatical guests will stay in the North Wing located on the Hamilton campus of Gordon-Conwell. There is limited space, however, so availability is on a first come, first served basis. Those unable to get into the North Wing will be housed in another dorm room on campus. Housing is reserved separately and paid for separately from the program fee.

Time and Location:
Day of registration/check-in will open on Monday, June 9th beginning at 12:00 PM and ending at 4:30 PM. Registration will take place in room 351 of the Academic Center at the Hamilton campus of Gordon-Conwell. Main sessions for the program will take place in an Academic Center classroom.  Most meals will take place in the Dining Hall of the seminary. The 2014 program will take place from June 9-19, 2014.

Transportation to and from the seminary is not included in the program fee. Guests are responsible for providing their own travel to and from campus. If you are flying into Boston for the program, the best airport to fly into is Boston Logan International Airport. There is a commuter line available close to campus. Click here for the MBTA train schedule for the Newburyport/Rockport line.

For directions to the Hamilton campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, click here.

[Back to top]


Registration typically takes place on the first work-day of September for the following year. Please contact us if you would like to receive more information about the registration process. Registration for the 2014 will take place on September 3rd. For more information, call 1-800-294-2774 or E-mail


If you would like more information about the program or have any questions, please contact us.

[Back to top]

Harold John Ockenga Institute