• Shonda nicole gladden


    Shonda Nicole Gladden is an American Studies PhD student matriculating through the Cultural Ecologies Track at IUPUI. Her research emerges at the intersections of philosophy, art, gender and cultural studies and aims to explore an anti-colonial enterprise of deconstructing Black gendered identities and cultural productions. Utilizing critical visual culture methodologies, her work explores representations of identity and the framing of movements- social, spatial, and spiritual- as cultural productions that inform Blackness, and Black aesthetics, within the colonial project of the Americas. She is currently a graduate research assistant to the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute (IAHI) conducting research on a three-year project funded by the National Endowment of the Arts examining the impact of cultural interventions on the landscape of Indianapolis neighborhoods.


    the founder of Good to the SOUL (a social enterprise that energizes individuals and institutions to flourish and do good, especially good that promotes the “spirit of universal living”(SOUL)), she has served the African Methodist Episcopal Church in various leadership and support roles for more than twenty-seven years. As the mother of a post-millennial child, a philosophical theologian, and former lead pastor, she passionately embodies a pragmatic approach to analyzing and addressing impediments to individual and institutional flourishing. Through the primary work of cultivating spaces where human flourishing is central and individuals are invited to attend to the healing and well-being of their souls, she coaches and consults with various think tanks and organizations to produce theologically informed and creative resources, influencing organizational, individual, and cultural change.

    Her life work is committed to singing, Speaking, Studying, and showing up consistently full of everything that reflects being and doing
    good to the SOUL.


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    WHO I AM...

    I name, nurture and cultivate good everywhere.


    I am a philosophical theologian/scholar practitioner, who is both an innovative and creative visionary who conceptualizes, assesses and develops content and copy to effectively market ideas. I am an empathetic and active listener with a high ability to help individuals and organizations think strategically and act decisively.


    I work as an independent researcher and consultant for research projects, many of which have been funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. and other philanthropic foundations, through various institutions including Princeton Theological Seminary, Columbia University, Vibrant Faith and The Forum for Theological Exploration.


    I help people find their way to good; more specifically, I help high capacity, emerging adults, who have experienced social, economic, or other marginalization due to gender, sexual identity, economic status, trauma or other life event that has resulted in real or perceived diminished esteem, altered capacity and/or acquiescence to mediocrity, as well as the organizations who serve, support or otherwise engage this demographic.


    I have earned four degrees, including a B.A. in Philosophy from Morgan State University, and both an M.Div. and an M.T.S. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. I am currently an American Studies PhD Student
    at Indiana University (IUPUI).


    I have taught courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level in the areas of Philosophy, Church History and Systematic Theology at various institutions including Morgan State University and Wesley Theological Seminary.


    I maintain a relationship with the American Academy of Religion, where I have presented papers and led round-table sessions and am a past co-convener of the Women's Caucus.


    As a classically trained vocalist I studied with the late Dr. Nathan M. Carter, performing on some of the world’s most renown concert stages, including Carnegie Hall under the baton of the late Robert Shaw in commemoration of Marian Anderson’s 100th Birthday.

    I am occasionally invited to communicate the cultural stories of sun-kissed people through artistic renderings of spirituals, stories and poems.


    I am an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and have served as lead pastor of three churches in Indiana.

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    good words

    Whether you need a compelling speaker for a stadium or a seminar, or another set of eyes before launching a good idea, I inspire and help people craft and communicate good words. With more than twenty years of public speaking experience, I have given talks and guidance on subjects ranging from race, diversity and inclusion to cultivating core competencies for success.


    Click Here to Book me to speak for your event.


    Sermons and Talks:

    good direction

    Parker Palmer, in "Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation" writes “before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” I help people discern good directions for living faithfully into their best selves by providing one-on-one and group coaching consultations in person, by phone and virtually.
    Click here to book a complimentary* clarity session.

    good Strategies

    According to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, “There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills.” 


    I help individuals and organizations assess current practices and help them discern and implement good strategies to ensure growth, sustainability, or when necessary- a strategic exit.


    Click here to learn more about coaching opportunities.

    good research

    I enjoy and do good research. I am skilled in qualitative research approaches (esp. ethnography, portraiture, phenomenology) and am available to perform data collection and/or consult on a limited number of funded research projects particularly in the areas of religion, culture, identity, and emerging media.


    Curriculum vitae available here
    Limited research portfolio available here.

    Limited past projects include:

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    Dr. lee p. Washington

    “Our congregation is so much stronger because of her willingness to offer herself as a servant for the kingdom of GOD.”

    Nancy childress

    Rabun Manor

    She is awesome, genuine and a Godly woman and yet, so approachable and attentive.
    She is destined to honor God in great ways.


    View my academic writings and vitae

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