[St. Mary’s Sewanee, Tennessee] The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development is pleased to announce that the Rev. John Runkle has accepted the board of trustees’ call to become the center’s third executive director.
As an Episcopal priest, he has served a number of parishes in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee since being ordained in 1999. Most recently, Runkle has served on the staff of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Virginia. A licensed architect, Runkle has also served as the Canon for Architecture and the Arts in the Diocese of Washington. From 2005 to 2010, Fr. Runkle served as the Cathedral Conservator at Washington National Cathedral.
A prolific writer, Fr. Runkle’s book, Searching for Sacred Space: Essays on Architecture and Liturgical Design in the Episcopal Church is a collection of thought-provoking essays that focus on liturgical space and its proper support of common worship. A popular speaker at lectures, conferences and retreats, he also teaches at Virginia Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary on the theology of sacred space and history of religious architecture.
In 1999, Runkle received his Master in Divinity from the University of the South; preceded in 1984 by a Bachelor of Architecture, with honors, from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Art, magna cum laude, from Mary Baldwin College.
St. Mary’s Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development is dedicated to providing spiritual hospitality to persons of diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds, in a place of natural beauty, simplicity, silence, tranquility and warm spiritual rest through retreats, renewal and learning. For more information about St. Mary’s Sewanee and its programs, click here.