Elyse Ambrose

Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethical Leadership and Society and Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Drew University
M.Div., The Interdenominational Theological Center
B.B.A., Howard University

“Imagination and a deep, engaged knowing of the balance that holds us in an all-inclusive ecology will sustain humanity as we and our communities become toward the end of relating rightly. We all have a duty to be intentional in who we become as individuals, as communities, as a society.”

Elyse Ambrose, Ph.D. is an educator, sexual ethicist, and creative. Elyse’s research, community work, and art lies at the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and spirituality. Their desire for their scholarship to impact and be informed by real lives leads to their synergy of theory and practice. To this end, as Founder of phoeniXspark, LLC, they work with communities and individuals toward shaping values and practices of gender and sexuality justice.

Their recent creative work includes a photo-sonic exhibition entitled “Spirit in the Dark Body: Black Queer Expressions of the Im/material” and their dissertation, Integrative Communality as Liberative Praxis of Sexual Ethics: A Black Queer Ethic. Her research has been supported by the Yale University Sarah Pettit Fund, the Forum for Theological Exploration, the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, Columbia University's Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice, Auburn Seminary and CrossCurrents. Elyse’s work and commentary has been featured in the Huffington Post, the Christian Century, Medium, ForHarriet, and Vice.

A message to Meadville Lombard students

“As an educator, it is my grounding principle to guide learners in processes of critical thinking that leads to the interrogation of what is, the imagination of what can be, the practice of what yields our collective wellness, and the knowing within each of us that values accountability, empathy, and care in our learning and in our vocations. Through my scholarly location as a black queer ethicist, multiplicity, particularity, integrative wholeness, and the joy of exploring and inhabiting the unknown color not only my scholarship, but my practices of relating.

“As we boldly and thoughtfully meet the potentiality awaiting us in our classrooms and moments of shared reflection, I am humbled to be a guide to you in this journey of theological education.”