Carla Gober-Park received her undergraduate education from Southern Adventist University in nursing and religious studies, which included a year of study in England. She completed two master’s degrees from Loma Linda University; a MPH health education and promotion (1985), and a MS in marriage and family studies (1994). Gober-Park completed her PhD in religious studies from Emory University (Atlanta, GA) in 2008, where her doctoral focus was in the area of attachment, memory, and meaning. She joined the LLU faculty in 1997.
Gober-Park has worked as a marriage and family counselor, a specialist in spiritual care & grief therapy, and as a health educator. She was instrumental in developing the hospital-based multidisciplinary grief programs that currently exist at LLUMC, which have trained hundreds of professionals throughout the years in the area of grief. She is a frequent speaker at professional and spiritual care conferences around the US, in the areas of forgiveness, attachment, spirituality and healing, and wholeness.
Her interest in the area of wholeness resulted in the development of a six-page research instrument to test the concept of wholeness in an academic setting. This included using qualitative research to first define categories that would be used. After developing the survey instrument, it has subsequently been distributed to over 2,000 LLU students. It was the basis for developing the University’s Wholeness Portal, an online resource for those interested in creating, maintaining, and fostering wholeness individually and for healthcare professionals in their patient care settings.
Gober-Park is also the Director of the Center for Spiritual Life & Wholeness at Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center (LLUAHSC), the umbrella corporation which manages the university and the medical center on campus. The Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness is dedicated to educating health care professionals across all disciplines on how to provide whole person care to their patients. The Center sponsors a number of programs to minister to the spiritual needs of students, staff, and patients.
Outside of academia she enjoys several recreational activities including biking, woodworking, and spending time in her orchard in a rural area close to Loma Linda.