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Student embraces her calling; takes advantage of life-changing opportunity

Candice Clark knows a thing or two about discipline. As a three-sport high school athlete and Division II college basketball player, she learned early on that dedication and hard work would help her succeed. Later, while serving the Marine Corp, she used that tenacity to become a combat fitness instructor, helping others to reach peak strength and conditioning. 

Now, as a civilian personal trainer and student in the Master of Divinity program at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Clark is helping others achieve new levels of wellness—not just physically but spiritually as well. 

“I feel like I’ve been called forever,” Clark said. “I know that holistic wellness is all connected. I was able to understand and form a relationship with God when I was very young. I understood the meaning of purpose. I understood my identity in Christ and that I wanted to be used to help people and experience God in their lives.”  

Candice Clark

In exactly what form that will be, Clark says, will be revealed to her in time. She has faith that she will be led to a career that allows her to continue to positively impact others, perhaps as a spiritual director or youth pastor, while continuing to share her extensive knowledge of physical fitness.  

The Master of Divinity program is helping Clark, who also serves as a secretary and a member of her church council, prepare for her future. The program provides her with a rich background in scripture, theology, and church history while allowing her to develop important spiritual relationships.    

“We have students and professors from different denominations,” she said. “They’re all diverse in their experiences. They are real people, and they share their real experiences. It makes a connection between us, as well as a connection between our faith and learning about theology, the Bible, the church and God.”

As a student, Clark is a passionate learner. She brings the same level of discipline she employs in the fitness world to the classroom. 

“Like in sports, you have to be willing to put in the practice, the work and effort. I’m taking my time to make the most of the experience and opportunity to learn,” says Clark. “I want to be used by God and help impact and influence people where and how they need it.”