A catalyst for revolutionary life and leadership change.

The Journey Appalachia (JA) is a spiritual formation & discipling community process implemented through six strategic retreats scheduled over a two-year period.


Are you thirsty for greater abiding in your walk with Jesus Christ?

Journey Appalachia is designed to help spiritual leaders deepen one’s inner journey with Christ through spiritual disciplines & practices


Do you long to be one who leads from overflow not overwhelm?

Journey Appalachia leverages principles from the life of Christ to assist leaders in implementing effective methods of spiritual influence.


Do you desire a natural process of discipleship & leader building?

Journey Appalachia is a community of intentional discipleship aimed at developing more intentional discipleship communities



Generation 3: Enrolling through April 25, 2023

Generation 2: Retreats 4-6 & Generation 3 Retreats 1-6
* January 18-21, 2023 / April 25-28, 2023 / Sept. 12-15, 2023 
Tentative: January 23-26, 2024 / April 23-26, 2024 / Sept. 10-13, 2024 


Individual Rate — $700 per retreat (Private Double Queen Beds, Bathroom, Balcony)

Couples Rate — $1,100 per retreat (Private Double Queen Beds, Bathroom, Balcony)

Payment Info  Retreat 1 paid-in-full confirms placement. Subsequent retreats can be paid in monthly or annually. Payment includes lodging, meals, mentoring, and all program materials.  


All participants will be awarded a certification of Spiritual Formation and Leadership from The Leadership Institute upon completion of the retreat process and coursework.

Journey Philosophy:

The Inner & Outer Journey: The Inner Journey is the central priority of discipleship and the foundation from which Christian leaders learn to serve the church and the world. Attention is given to the inner life of participants through the examination of spiritual disciplines/practices and extended time alone with God to exercise said disciplines/practices. 

The Outer Journey concentrates on each participant’s sphere of influence. Participants will be introduced to the practices of ministry and mission that grow out of deeper intimacy with Christ (the inner journey). In essence, fruitful ministry and mission is an overflow of the soul into places of leadership. This sequence is essential to a biblical outer journey.

The Holistic Approach: The Journey strives to implement a holistic learning model; engaging participants in thinking, feeling, acting, and leading theory and praxis. Time is spent both in community and solitude examining rich biblical truths with the goal of integrating gained insights into one’s daily life and practice. 

Learning to Live & Lead Like Jesus: During the course of the comprehensive retreat process, participants will be invited to live and lead differently through grace, identity, calling, as well as through personal and organizational leadership. 

Marketplace Benefits:

The Journey Appalachia is designed for all spiritual leaders, including men and women marketplace settings. The Journey will enhance workplace leadership, effective team building, strategic planning, and healthy project management. One’s overall job enjoyment and company leadership will be enhanced by Journey principles.

The Journey Process

Step by Step: Registration to Retreat


We invite you to research The Journey & pray. We trust that God will guide you to begin this process in the proper timing. 


Once you decide to enlist in The Journey, register below. To hold your spot, the first retreat fee will be paid as a deposit.


Retreat payment options include monthly and annually. The JA Team will work with you to find the payment option that meets your personal development budget.


As the retreat nears, you will be given all the information needed to make your Journey experience restful and impactful at the same time.

* Please note that all payments will be processed by The Leadership Institute  – the nonprofit parent organization of Journey Appalachia.

Our Team

Meet the Journey Appalachia Team

David Limiero photo

David Limiero

“Is the life you’re living the life you want to pass on to your disciples? Or your children?”

After decades of successful ministry, that question from the Lord started David’s personal journey to learn how to live and lead from overflow instead of overwhelm.

David is a Performance Coach with Full Focus and the founder of Edens View Coaching and Consulting. He is a co-founder of Eagles Rest. Previously he served as the Senior Director of Strategic Services at Stadia, a global church-planting mission. David served churches in Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, and California before returning to Kingsport in 2017. He holds a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

Jan Limiero photo

Jan Limiero

“Knowing your true identity brings focus and rest.”

Jan Limiero is the co-founder of Eagles Rest, a ministry which provides encouragement and equipping to kingdom-minded leaders, where she serves as a Life Coach and Spiritual Director.

A Kingsport native, Jan served alongside her husband in local church ministries for more than two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Tennessee State University, a certificate in Spiritual Direction from The Leadership Institute, and is a spiritual director with the Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association.

Shawn Stutz

“The Journey was one of the most transformative experiences of my life.”

Shawn Stutz is the Grow Pastor for Adult Ministries at Shoreline Church in Knoxville. He formerly served as the Executive Director of FOCUS Ministries, a prison and reentry nonprofit in Knoxville. He and his family have lived in Knoxville for nine years following 16 years of pastoring churches in Tennessee, Georgia, and California. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Union University.

JA Retreat Center

A beautiful place of rest & rejuvenation in East Tennessee
The Steiner Bell Lodge at Wafloy Mountain Village
3610 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

About Journey Appalachia

The Leadership Institute (TLI) was founded in 1989 in response to the desperate need for a new generation of Christian leaders with deeper spirituality, integrity and compassion. Without the development of such leaders the church will be unable to impact future generations with the gospel.

So the Institute developed a multi-retreat paradigm for leadership development rooted in the spiritual formation methods of Jesus. This retreat paradigm, called The Journey, has expressions all around the globe, including the United States, India, Nigeria, and Rwanda. Christian leaders of all ages have benefited greatly from this process.

The Journey Appalachia is the newest retreat expression to be launched through TLI by spiritual leaders who live in the heart of East Tennessee’s Appalachian Mountains. 

Journey Testimonials

Hear the testimonies of life & leadership change.

God has used The Leadership Institute  (creator of The Journey) to open the souls and lives of many ministers of Christ to the fullness of what God is doing and wishes to do in our generation. I encourage those who find themselves stifled and frustrated with their work for the Lord to enter this ongoing fellowship of Christian disciples.

Dallas Willard

Author, The Divine Conspiracy

In my two years in the Journey one of the main things I learned was that my main priority is my relationship with Jesus. The mentors of the Journey have shared with me their lives. This was, for me, the most important. I have degrees in theology, philosophy and psychology, but they are not close to what I was given at the Journey.

Roman Popov

Russian Pastor

I love this program. It integrates our spiritual journey with the greatest input available on discipleship and leadership development. This is education at its best. 

Jim Burns

President of HomeWord

The Journey has changed my spiritual walk in so many ways. Before I attended the Journey I had mastered doing  for the Lord, but the Journey faculty encouraged me to learn the importance of being with Jesus.

Lynn Battey

Life Coach

Contact Us


Journey Appalachia

225 Elkmont Rd.

Knoxville TN 37922