Materialize your Passions.

Fulfill your Dreams.

Shepherd your People

Retreats For
Your Specific Needs

Personal Development Retreats

These retreats are open to everyone interested in Christian spirituality. During these intense 1.5 day gatherings you will receive expert guidance from one of the nation’s foremost thinkers on the Christian faith, learning the tools and strategies necessary for thriving in our modern world. You will experience friendship and belonging with your peers, cultivate resources for dealing with life’s challenges, and develop new skills in prayer, Bible study, and practicing the presence of God.

Professional Development Retreats

Designed specifically for preachers, leaders, and innovators these retreats combine the theoretical and the practical, exploring not only the best biblical theology but the best methods for incorporating design thinking into creative Christian ministry. You will go deeper into the scriptures and delve more broadly into the culture than in any other setting, receiving graduate-level instruction with critical insights about faith and culture to ensure you come away enlivened and ready for more

Our Retreat

The Fossores Chapter House

505 Wildwood Ave, Jackson, MI 49201

Part monastery, part workspace, the House has places to pray and places to play, places to study and places to collaborate. Every space has been lovingly curated to provide a divinely creative atmosphere.

Built in 1888, this 8200sq. ft. Queen Anne Victorian has been fully renovated to create this one-of-a-kind House of Gothic Glamour. We prioritize beauty, functionality, and spectacle so every guest has their breath taken away.

There’s nothing else like it in the world—no other place set aside specifically to create, to dream, and to press aggressively forward into your development. Nowhere. And we built it for you!

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Select A Retreat

Identify the personal or professional retreat you'd like to attend below.


Select any overnight accommodations you'll need at the Chapter House during the retreat.


Explore the resources designed to prepare you for this transformational experience.


"I visited the Chapter House as a stranger and came away with friends. You can go to a conference for the masses or retreat into the woods. Or you can join a houseful of pilgrims, around a table of great food, curated atmosphere to arouse curiosity, and rich conversation about the tension and opportunities within reach. This is some of THE BEST hospitality and leadership I have found in 25 years of ministry!"
Dave Sunde
Pastor, Mission Hills Church
"The Chapter House provides incredible opportunities to gather with other pastors and leaders to learn, dream, and problem-solve. I have been encouraged and challenged, especially by the kingdom perspective that Dave McDonald brings as he gathers people from all different faith traditions and aspects of ministry."
Kaye Kolde
Bishop, Free Methodist Church USA
"The Chapter house brings together Pastors and ministry leaders from different walks of life and denominational views to help create a ministry think tank. The "treasure chest" of ideas deposited and experiences shared enables ministry leaders to go back to their respective areas with new and fresh insights."
Fred Parker, Jr.
Senior Pastor, Kingdom Life Ministries

Upcoming Retreats

Chapter House Membership

access to everything the chapter house has to offer

For $199 a month you get registration access to ALL our retreats, both personal and professional (valued at $15,179!). This membership is transferrable within your immediate family and/or within your church staff. Registrations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Accommodations at the Chapter House booked separately.

Questions You May Have

A “fossores” is species of sand wasp, and was used in reference to clergymen during the Roman persecution of the church much like we might crudely refer to someone as a cockroach. Because Christianity was an outlaw religion, pastors were often forced to take inconspicuous day jobs. Many became gravediggers. By day, Fossorians would suffer the scorn of the public while working backbreaking labor for low pay. But at night, they would use the newly excavated gravesites as houses for worship, smuggling in their brothers and sisters for church in the catacombs. After the services ended, the Fossorians would stay up and pray, decorating the tombs with symbols and scriptures, prayers and pleas. Then they would sleep in the presence of sacralized death, dreaming of God’s plans to heal the world. They practiced the undifferentiated wholeness between their art, their work, and their faith. The original Fossorians model that our vocation and calling and identity are inextricably mixed. Today, we pick up where they left off in hopes of honoring Christ with all we are permitted to create.

Each retreat begins Friday night at 6pm in the Parlor. After our initial sessions, we conclude Friday’s events around 9:30pm. Saturday we resume at 8:30am and continue until approximately 9:30pm that evening. There is no pre-work or homework after the retreat; however, Dr. McDonald will make several recommendations to each participant to maximize their experience.

Yes. In addition to the 60min coaching session offered in “Retreat Plus” (see above), Dr. McDonald is available for private coaching and consulting for $350/hr or $1000 for 3 hours. You can register for a coaching session or package here:

This is a difficult time for pastors in the USA. Our best estimate is that 1/3 of all American pastors resigned during the pandemic, and the latest research demonstrates that 42% of all remaining pastors still consider changing vocations monthly. Now more than ever, pastors need peer support, expert guidance, and the camaraderie afforded by the Chapter House. If you would like to support our ministry to pastors, you can do so by making a donation here:

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