God led me to STS by the encouragement of fellow workers

Maya Clark, first from left

I used to think seminary was only for pastors. Only the call to pastoral ministry seemed to me to warrant the academic stress, extended time commitment, and hefty cost. As a student and short-term mission worker, I saw different seminaries exhibited at Christian conferences, but I was not cut out for that sort of thing.

Though raised in the United States, I was born in Gipo village, in the Nimba county of Liberia. As a child, I was thankful to have left the hardship of my early years behind, and had no desire to return to Liberia. However, three years after my salvation, the Lord transformed my innermost desires for the kind of life I wanted to lead. I now longed to return to Liberia and serve as a full-time missionary. I went about planning how this could be realized. In my heart I planned my own way, but the Lord would determine my steps.

In 2021, I had the privilege of serving alongside Gary and Michell Kittredge, missionaries sent out by The Shepherd’s Church to Liberia. This experience was an answer to many prayers! I was inspired by how selflessly they served. Gary often reminded our team that we serve God because He is worthy and not for what we can get out of it, hearkening back to a famous and beloved sermon – Ten Shekels and a Shirt.

With the Kittredges, I shared my desire to become a full-time missionary in the future, along with some ideas about what that could look like. Both Gary and Michelle encouraged me to consider theological study – to become a worker approved by God, able to correctly teach truth. I hesitated; the idea of seminary was compelling, but the obstacles seemed insurmountable. 

Gary shared his experience with the one-year Master of Theological Studies (MTS) at Shepherds Theological Seminary. It would be one year of my life, to impact the rest of my life! 

The Kittredges encouraged me to apply to the MTS after my year in Liberia. They joined me on a call with Student Services at STS, to get more information about the program. I was invited to the Day at Shepherds in March of 2022. My local church pastor, as well as other dear friends, joined me in prayer to discern the wisest course of action; my mom even went with me to the Day at Shepherds! I loved meeting the professors and some of the current students; I admired how they studied God’s word, and clearly articulated their faith. I learned a lot in a single day!  

I applied to the MTS soon after.  I got in, and was even awarded a missionary scholarship! I’m so thankful for the encouragement of the Kitteredges. I’m grateful to all whom God has moved to pray and support me financially. I am excited to see what the Lord does in my life this year at STS!