Public Speaking

Upcoming Events!

SBNR: Spiritual But Not Religious

Presented by the Interfaith Center of the Miami of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT

Register Here 


“Is Doubt Bad?”

Contact St. Andrew Presbyterian Church (Columbus Rt. 161) for more information.

Sunday, October 17, 2014
10:30 AM

A Facebook Livestream Event.
For more information contact: 


What's Religion Got to do with it?

“What do religion and politics have to do with each other?" That has been a pressing question since the formation of our nation. While many Americans rely on our ‘separation of church and state doctrine, sometimes religious people wish a closer connection, such as when Protestant groups promoted and achieved Prohibition.

In two sessions, we will examine a brief history of the relationship between church and state, the politics that have gotten implicated, the sharp polarization that is resulting, and how the increasing secularization of the U.S. may affect all Americans, religious or not. Please join us as we tackle these issues that are so vital to the unity and societal health of our nation.

Thursday & Friday, October 28-29, 2021
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Register Here 

Spiritual But Not Religious - What's That?

Worthington Interfaith Neighbors

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
7:00 PM

The surging "spiritual but not religious" (SBNR) movement is the hottest "religious" new in many decades. Although the U.S. was once the most devout nation in the industrialized West, now religious affiliation is rapidly declining. In order to make sense of this, we will consider: Who are the SBNRs? What do they believe? And what might this mean for the U.S.?

All are welcome. There is no charge for this program.

Learn more here

Via Zoom. Contact [email protected] for Zoom invitation and meeting ID number.

Covenant Presbyterian Church - Sermon

Sunday, October 31, 2021
10:00 AM

Columbus, OH
Livestream TBA

The Effects on Faith of Forced Termination

November 19-22, 2021

American Academy of Religion
Panel on "Just Universities" 
More Details to Come!

Hanover Presbyterian Church - Sermon

December 5, 2021
10:25 AM

Newark, OH
Livestream TBA

Contact Dr. Mercadante to Speak to Your Group On:

“Who are the Spiritual But Not Religious?” [SNBR]

People who self-identify as SBNR can be found both inside and outside religion, in all age groups and parts of the country. What ties them together? Just how diverse are they? What do they believe? Learn more about what researchers call the fastest growing “religious group” in America.

“Many Journeys – Many Practices”

Dr. Mercadante has interviewed over 100 SBNRs, as well as conducting focus groups, having scores of informal  conversations and visiting many SBNR sites. Learn about these intriguing persons who self-identify as ‘spiritual but not religious,’ including their backgrounds, spiritual journeys, hopes, ethics and practices.

“Meeting and Serving SBNR Folk”

Why do SBNRs distance themselves from organized religion?  Is there anything that can be done? How can religion help them grow spiritually, find community, inhabit sacred space, and contribute to the common good.

“The Background of the SBNR Movement”

The ‘spiritual but not religious’ movement has many roots and traditions.  Learn some of the historical, sociological, psychological and theological factors which have combined in a “perfect storm” to produce the recent and growing phenomenon of non-religious spiritual seeking.

“A Circle of Spiritual Guidance”

Dr. Mercadante has created a process to help recovering persons move deeper into their spirituality. Helpful for both counselors and those in recovery.

“Religious & Theological Roots of the 12-Step Approach”

 A valuable program helping providers, clergy and recovering persons to understand the conceptual and practical roots of AA.

“Spirituality and Moral Injury”

“Moral injury” — transgressing one’s deeply held values — can easily lead to addiction. Learn how military veterans and other vulnerable populations can find recovery from this complicated challenge.

“The Spiritual Roots of Addiction & Recovery”

Dr. Mercadante shows how avoiding sharp dichotomies enables us to gain much more from a spiritual approach to addiction treatment. Her insights will support providers in better serving both religious and non-religious clients.

“Spirituality, Victimization and Trauma”

Dr. Mercadante provides a spiritual basis for such psychological concepts as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Helpful for recovering persons, clergy and therapists.

“Getting Some Traction: Ideas of Sin & Addiction”

Dr. Mercadante shows there are some surprising areas of conceptual overlap between the concepts of sin and addition — with important practical effects. Especially beneficial for clergy and counselors.

“Helping Addicts Move Beyond the Spiritual Wading Pool”

How do we help addicts recover meaning and purpose in life, as well as mature spiritually, and connect with a spiritual heritage? A valuable seminar for counselors and recovering persons alike.

Invite Dr. Mercadante to present on these vital topics at your next conference, retreat or other event!

Recent Presentations About SBNRs:

Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

American Academy of Religion, Mysticism Unit

Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, Leadership Consultation

Presbyterian Church (USA) Task Force

American Association of Pastoral Counselors

Chaplains Association of Ohio

The Mystical Positivist radio show, Sebastopol, CA

Older Wiser Lifelong Scholars, Westminster-Thurber, Columbus, Ohio

OhioHealth Pastoral Care retreat, Westerville Health Center, Westerville, OH

Wellstreams Spiritual Directors conference, St. Mark’s Episcopal, Columbus

Adult education, All Saints Lutheran, Worthington, Ohio

Beyond Tolerance Address, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Progressive Brethren Gathering, Stone Ch of the Brethren, Huntingdon, PA

SBNR lecture, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Bexley, OH

Religious Conversions, American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA

Trinity Lutheran Seminary Winter Event, Bexley, OH

Spiritual Seekers event, First Community Church, Columbus, OH

Dr. Mercadante has been featured in numerous publications and shows including:

 Invite Dr. Mercadante to give presentation to your group, organization or conference! 

Client List

Here is a sampling of Dr. Mercadante’s clients. You are invited to join the growing list:

Spiritual But Not Religious

NBC’s The Today Show

Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, Leadership Consultation

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Virginia Synod

OhioHealth Chaplains Association

Capital Region Theological Center

American Association of Pastoral Counselors

Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Wellstreams Spiritual Directors

The Ohio Humanities Institute, The Ohio State University

“All Sides with Ann Fisher,” WOSU, NPR affiliate

.com Belief blog

The Huffington Post

Oxford University Press blog

Great Lakes Theological Academy

Naropa University, Boulder, CO

University of Colorado, Boulder

The Ohio Chaplain’s Organization

Synod of the Covenant, PC (USA)

Mark’s Episcopal, Upper Arlington, OH

Ohio Council of Churches Convocation

Ohio Campus Ministries Association

John’s UCC Church, Columbus, OH

First Community Church, Columbus, OH

Worthington Presbyterian Church, Ohio

Indianola Presbyterian, Columbus, OH

First United Methodist, Boulder, CO

Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH

Trinity United Methodist, Salina, Kansas

First Presbyterian Church, Boulder, CO

Spirituality & Addiction

Volunteers of America, Texas Division

Presbyterian Church (USA)Task Force on Substance Abuse

Missouri Department of Mental Health

Oberlin College

Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, KS

International Network of Existential Psychologists

Columbia University, NY:  Coalition on Substance Abuse

Alandsbaum Center, Indiana University

National Institutes of Health

Denison University

Ashland University

Mennonite Mental Health Services

Ohio State Bar Association

Boston University, Danielson Institute

Great Plains Institute of Theology, Moorhead, MN

Paul’s United Methodist, Vacaville, CA

Cloud United Methodist, St. Cloud, MN

First United Methodist, Boulder, CO

Charis Ecumenical Institute

Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church

Broad St. Presbyterian, Columbus, OH

West Point Grey Baptist Church, Vancouver, B.C.

Worthington Presbyterian, OH

First Presbyterian, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sample Testimonials

Rachel Parker, In Prism’s Book Bag

"Her work is 'sensitive and spiritual…suggesting that one’s context be… a lens through which one experiences God. Therefore, all places – not just those labeled holy – have the potential to evoke the Spirit, although some places may nurture that Spirit while others may kill it.'"

Prof. John Merkle, St. Benedict’s College

"While Linda is a woman of deep convictions, she is a woman for whom faith is never final but rather an ongoing quest for deeper understanding and communion with God."

John Matthews, MidWest Center

"Linda is not just a scholar…She is very much a doer, with the drive, persistence and know-how to get things done. She sets high standards, especially for herself, and is not afraid to take risks."



Get in Touch

To invite Dr. Mercadante or get additional information contact her at

[email protected]