school leaders, take the  plunge



Travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a behind-the-scenes look at a remarkable, God-centered classical school for children of the city.

Four times a year, Hope Academy in Minneapolis, MN hosts between 6-12 current and emerging school leaders for a full-on immersion of the model and inner workings of Hope Academy, a school started in 2000 with just 34 kids in grades K-2. Today we serve more than 500 students in grades K-12 and are a leader in the urban, God-centered school movement.


You’ll have box seats for key school events, have time with key leaders who remember the first years, and meet with Russ Gregg on leading and starting a school for academically disenfranchised, culturally diverse, and economically disadvantaged youth. From leadership, cultural competency, spiritual formation, fundraising and more, it’s all on the table. So bring your questions, and don’t forget to make time to explore Minneapolis!

Sample Hope PlungeSchedule


Here’s what a typical Hope School Plunge itinerary might look like:


  • 12-7pm – Arrive in Minneapolis, Settle in & Explore!


  • 8-9:30am – Welcome & Orientation Breakfast (provided)
  • 9:30am – History of Hope Academy guided tour
  • 11:00am – Partner Day Program (development model in action)
  • 12:00pm – Classroom Observation and Lunch (provided)
  • 1-2pm – Student Support Observation
  • 2:00pm – Break
  • 2:30pm – Family Worship Observation
  • 3:30pm – Socratic Discussion – Grammar Level


  • 8:30am – Admission & Family Ministry
  • 10:00am – Starting & Leading a School (breakfast provided)
  • 11:00am – Shepherding the Heart
  • 12:00pm – Final Lunch together
  • 1:00pm – Depart Minneapolis

NOTE: The Friday-Saturday Plunges run noon-4pm CT, Friday & 8am-1pm on Saturday. See details below!

We encourage new and emerging school planters and current leaders to attend because, just as every Timothy needs a Paul, so every school needs a model. “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil 3:17; 4:9).


You may not implement or even agree with every last thing you see during your visit, but experiencing a model will help inform the way you lead your school.


Then again, maybe you know what God is calling you to do, but feel clueless about where to start: “I know I need to gather a board of directors, but what do they do when they meet? I know I need to cast vision, but how do I go about preparing talks? I know the budget needs work, but I’m no accountant.” The goal of the Hope Plunge is to provide an environment where leaders build relationships and experience what God has done in one school and prayerfully consider what God might be calling them to as well.

WhyAttend a Hope Plunge?

Get encouraged, learn from the Hope Academy model, and leave equipped.


Wheredoes the Plunge occur?

The Hope Plunge takes place at Hope Academy, which is located just minutes from downtown in the heart of Minneapolis. Started in 2000, this inner city school was started by called leaders willing to take a crazy step of faith. You’ll hear about the history during your plunge, as well as some of the lessons learned by the leaders God graciously used to lead the change.

Whoshould attend the Plunge?

The Plunge is designed for men or women who are, or aspire to be, part of a God-centered school in a major U.S. city targeting a student body that includes academically disenfranchised, culturally diverse, and economically disadvantaged students. This includes business leaders, pastors, lay leaders, graduate students, and more.


does the Plunge occur?

The Plunge is a two-day intensive. Participants are our honored guests around key events of our model (Partner Day and Parent Involvement Day). We ask that you apply only if you are able to attend the entire Plunge. Due to the limited space, we also limit each school group to no more than three guests. This allows more groups to experience our model. Priority is given to applicants from schools who have not attended in the past.



The Plunge mostly happens in and around Hope Academy. Guests are encouraged to find their own accomodations, whether via Airbnb or these nearby hotels. (Note: for groups of 2 or fewer, hosted options may be available).


We provide breakfast and lunch during your Plunge.

Refunds & Cancellation

If you cancel, you will receive no refund. Space is only available for a maximum of 12 guests per Plunge, and they fill up quickly. So if you know you’re interested, go ahead and apply to sign up early.

Cost & Scholarships

The cost to register for the Hope Plunge is just $129. The registration fee includes the two meals listed above, as well as a copy of our School Leaders Guide, and many other resources. If you have questions or concerns about costs, inquiries for scholarships can be submitted upon application to


Travel plans are left to you. Do plan to arrive the evening before your Plunge, and we recommend you fly out the day after your Plunge. If you need to fly out the evening of your plunge, be sure your flight departs no earlier than 6:30pm that evening.  

Arrival: If you are flying into Minneapolis, a ride to or from any of the hotels listed above will take about 20 minutes with no traffic, but can take 45 minutes in high traffic times.

Departure: If you are departing directly from Hope Academy, a ride to Terminal I or Terminal 2 will take about 20 minutes with no traffic, but can take 45 minutes in high traffic times.


May I bring my spouse?

Plunge participants often ask if they can or should bring their spouse. The answer is, yes — but they must also be registered if they plan to participate. The time is extremely full and the plunge sessions are only open to registered participants.

Leave Room in your Suitcase!


Those who attend the Plunge can expect to receive a copy of our School Leader’s Guide, as well as 2-3 other free books and resources from Spreading Hope Network. So make sure to leave some extra room in your suitcase!

Upcoming Plunge Dates


8am – 4pm Thrusday May 9, 2024

9am – 1pm Friday May 10, 2024


8:30am – 4pm Wednesday June 26, 2024

8:30am -12pm Thursday June 27, 2024