St. Mary’s Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development is a place where all are invited to respond to the invitation by God to “withdraw to a quiet place to pray” (Luke 5:16).

Through quiet and simplicity, warm welcome and spiritual companionship, St. Mary’s Sewanee seeks to nurture the innate human capacity for relationship with God. Resting on 230 acres atop the Cumberland Plateau, we provide a sacred space to groups and individuals for a wide variety of opportunities for spiritual growth. Individuals may come to one of our retreats or workshops or for a period of personal retreat. Faith communities and not-for-profit organizations may bring their own programs while St. Mary’s Sewanee provides hospitality.

St. Mary’s Sewanee offers programs and retreats designed to support spiritual growth and to appeal to a variety of interests. Presenters have been carefully selected for their expertise in biblical, contemplative, and practical spirituality. The roots of the Center are firm in the Episcopal tradition and its emphasis on openness and comprehensiveness.

Though broad, many of our retreats, workshops and programs seek to address the practices of living in Christian contemplative tradition while rediscovering ourselves daily. Since 1997, St. Mary’s Sewanee has worked in partnership with Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., offering a wide range of Centering Prayer retreats. Our emphasis on silent prayer and other contemplative spiritual practices sets us apart from other conference and retreat centers.