Dr. David Peterson retired from the U.S. Navy in 2018 after more than 20 years of active duty service and was immediately able to transition to work in higher education because of his doctoral degree from the United States Sports Academy.

Peterson earned his Doctor of Education degree in sports management with an emphasis in health and fitness in 2014. The Academy’s 2015 Alumnus of the Year, Peterson began his work as an assistant professor of kinesiology at Cedarville University shortly after his retirement from the Navy.

Now, Peterson has used his education and his faith-focused lifestyle to write two textbooks that are in use at Cedarville: A Practical Guide to Personal Conditioning (2018) and his latest work A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise (2021), which was published open access and is available for free here.

“We had been using an older textbook for probably the last 15 years, so I wanted to help out our department with a new, updated textbook that meets Cedarville’s needs,” Peterson said. “The book covers the idea that we are all made by God and gives the Biblical reasoning behind being good stewards of the bodies God gave us. The information is based on the science, but the reasoning is based in a Christian worldview.”

Peterson previously served as deputy director of the Physical Education Department at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.  After 20 years of military service, Peterson retired from the Navy in June 2018 to begin his career at Cedarville University.

“I had a great career waiting for me after my military service, all due in large part to my doctoral degree from the United States Sports Academy,” Peterson said. “For that, I am eternally grateful. I knew that my military retirement was imminent and I knew I would have to get a doctoral degree to work as a college professor.

“The Academy allowed me to pursue that degree while I was still on active duty. I could have started a degree at a brick and mortar school when I retired, but that would have taken an additional two or three years before I could start my next career.

“Being able to pursue my doctoral degree while I was on active duty was crucial.

“I was able to complete my degree over three different duty stations – from Millington, Tenn., to Patuxent River, Md., to the Naval Academy – because of the Academy’s flexible options.

“As a military veteran, I was very pleased with how military friendly the Academy is and how it supports our troops with tuition assistance and G.I. Bill acceptance. Rolling enrollments and flexible scheduling were both conducive to me as a professional. The other thing about the Academy is that it allowed me to tailor my education to my specific area of interest in exercise and physiology.”

Peterson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with Distinction through the NSCA and has published several manuscripts on physical fitness testing within the military for the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal and Military Medicine.

“My passion has always been exercise and physiology, so I wanted a degree that would allow me to further my studies in that area,” Peterson said. “The Academy’s program allowed me to do that quite well. I would absolutely recommend the Academy to other students seeking a degree.”