Former Apprentice Star Begins Seminary

Shantella Y. Sherman | 8/28/2009, 9:42 a.m.

The woman who made every conscious Black person breathe a collective sigh on the NBC reality show €The Apprentice,€ Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, recently embarked on a new life path --- clergy. Manigault-Stallworth officially enrolled and began studies at United Theological Seminary on Mon., Aug 17 in Dayton, Ohio.

According to UTS Associate Dean for African American Studies, Ivan Hicks, the 35-year-old Ohio native had a spiritual awakening that led to her being €called€ to ministry.

€Omarosa will pursue a doctor of ministry, which will take about two years to complete. She has expressed a calling in her life and it is our opportunity to provide leadership and guidance as she makes a transformation. We€re excited about her coming to school at UTS,€ Hicks said.

Manigault-Stallworth grew up in Youngstown, four hours from Dayton and remains a welcomed-daughter of the state. Her appearances on €The Apprentice,€ €The Celebrity Apprentice€ and €The Surreal Life,€ brought attention to the upwardly mobile African American woman, while also reinforcing some stereotypes of Black women as stern and non-emotional.

As for the transformation from reality television €bad girl€ to God-driven, Hicks said that he has met with Manigault-Stallworth and felt confident about admitting her the program, because of it.

€She certainly has a heart for ministry. In fact, some of the good things and bad things we€ve done in our lives help us to actually relate and to be more widely accepted as ministers,€ Hicks said.

Manigault-Stallworth was also featured on the Discovery Channel's new show, €Plastic Surgery: Before and After,€ going under the knife alongside her mother, Theresa, 64, to have a breast enhancement surgery, a tummy tuck and liposuction. Her surgery took her from a €negative-A cup€ to a small D.

The move toward God also came in the knick of time as Manigault-Stallworth has begun having more run-ins since the reality television gigs than when she was on them. Most recently, while a guest on the €Wendy Williams Show€ to promote her new book, €The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off,€ Manigault-Stallworth pitched insults at the host about her need for a nose job and a better wig, almost bringing the two to fisticuffs. Williams said of the incident, Manigault-Stallworth came out onto the set with an attitude and being invective, something Williams was only too happy to return.

€She came out and immediately started this diatribe about how she would not be disrespected. Honest to goodness, I had to look closely into her eyes to see if everything was €okay.€ I don€t know where that came from aside from her trying to create her media moment,€ Williams said.

Williams later responded that Manigault-Stallworth was the embodiment of an €A.B.W. €" angry, Black woman.€

But now, with a calling on her life and all of the high drama behind her, Manigault-Stallworth said she is happy to be returning home to Ohio and to school.

€I am looking forward to returning home to Ohio and beginning my studies at United Theological Seminary. It has been two years in the making. I made a very personal decision to enroll and study the word of God. I want to grow as a person and finally discover what God€s purpose for my life is,€ said Manigault-Stallworth, who received an undergraduate degree from Central State University and a Masters Degree from Howard University.

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