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David Klingler set himself apart for a lifetime of athletic competition early. In his hometown of Houston he earned ten varsity letters at Stratford High School in basketball, baseball, football, and track, as well as all-state quarterback selections in his junior and senior years.
From there he played quarterback for the University of Houston and was “this close” to winning the most glamorous prize in all of college football—the Heisman Trophy. His on-field accomplishments that filled the pages of the National Collegiate Athletic Association record books were what nearly won him the award. In one college game alone he threw for 716 yards, and during the 1990 season he tossed fifty-four touchdown passes, a mind-boggling eleven in one game.
David, who is now a Dallas Seminary PhD student, went on to play for the National Football League from 1992 to 1997, first for the Cincinnati Bengals and then for the Oakland Raiders. In many ways he believes that his past athletic training mirrors working in ministry and living the Christian life as both an individual and as a community of believers.
“Discipline, accountability, perseverance, and the realization that the ramifications of my actions affect not only me but also my whole team are just a few of the realities I learned while playing football,” David says. “If I didn’t prepare or if I didn’t perform on game day, then not only I but my whole team suffered. In my studies at Dallas Seminary I have come to realize that my life and ministry affect me, and that my actions affect the body of Christ as a whole.”
This profile was originally published in the Spring 2006 issue of Dallas Seminary's Kindred Spirit magazine.
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