Trent Frank

After 21 years of service to the U.S. Army, Lieutenant Colonel Trent Frank had his sights set on seminary, and Candler was at the top of his list.

"I had my eye on Candler for some time,” says the second-year Master of Divinity (MDiv) student. “I loved that it was part of a larger university system. And, it’s one of the best theology schools in the world."

His call to ministry developed during his college years, but the reinforcement of that call came during his time in the service—specifically, the year he spent pastoring a church while stationed in Germany.

"Leading that church taught me that ministry is a great responsibility. It helped me see that people and their lives are important to God."

As he neared retirement from the Army, it became clear that the next step for Frank was a theological education. "I wanted to take things to a new level. I wanted to deepen my engagement with others while growing and learning myself."

But he knew that cost of graduate school would be no small factor in his decision. Enter Candler’s aid for veterans. Each year, Candler provides several awards to eligible MDiv, Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and Master of Theology (ThM) students who have served in the military as a way to help defray their educational expenses. These awards are then matched by the Veteran’s Administration through the “Yellow Ribbon” Financial Aid program, up to $8,950, in order to cover the cost of attendance.

A single dad of two, Frank says the assistance was invaluable. "The Yellow Ribbon program was incentive for me to apply to Candler," Frank says. "I was happy that it all came together."

Now at the halfway point of his degree, Frank sees the value of his studies at Candler. "Being here has given me a greater social and academic context for my ministry. I have a better perspective of the church and what my calling is within it."

For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Program click here.