The Reverend John Ander Runkle, R.A.

John Runkle Church Architecture

PO Box 815 - Sewanee, Tennessee 37375

919.260.2157 -

The Reverend John Ander Runkle, R.A. is a specialist in religious architecture. As an Episcopal priest, he has served a number of parishes in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee since being ordained in 1999.  Currently, he is the Executive Director of St. Mary's Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development in Sewanee, TN. As an historical architect, his career represents a devotion to the care and interpretation of architectural and cultural landmarks. From serving as an architect on staff with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, to surveying archaeological sites of medieval Islamic settlements in the Sahara Desert of North Africa, to preserving, restoring and revitalizing historic worship space in the Anglican tradition, his architectural experience spans over twenty-five years. He consults with a number of churches, chapels and dioceses in the care of their buildings, including the Episcopal Church Center, who retains him as the Consulting Project Manager guiding the efforts to reconstruct Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. From 2005 to 2010, Fr. Runkle served as the Cathedral Conservator at Washington National Cathedral, where he was responsible for the care of the Cathedral’s building fabric, along with managing its fine arts collections.  From 2010 to 2013, he also served as the Canon for Architecture and the Arts in the Diocese of Washington.

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, Fr. Runkle received his Master in Divinity from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee; 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.