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INDEPENDENT LENS: The Calling

Airs Monday, December 20 & Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Bilal Ansari is in the Muslim Chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary

New priest Steven Gamez receiving congratulations on his ordination.
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Above: New priest Steven Gamez receiving congratulations on his ordination.

Rabbinical student Shmuly Yanklowitz prepares for a public debate about kosher meat.
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Above: Rabbinical student Shmuly Yanklowitz prepares for a public debate about kosher meat.

What's Your Calling?

Through a growing series of interviews, videos, and articles, What's Your Calling? pushes the notion of "calling" to explore all of the stuff that makes us human: our values, our passions, our doubts, and hopes. Join a conversation about notions of "calling" from both religious and secular perspectives.

It takes a true calling to make faith a way of life. "The Calling" is a four-hour documentary series that follows seven Muslims, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and Jews on a dramatic journey as they train to become professional clergy. Embarking on life paths that demand tremendous personal sacrifice and commitment, these seminarians must uphold timeless truths in an era that values quick fixes and hot trends, and face a public that challenges the very relevance of their mission.

A new look at an old job, "The Calling" takes viewers into the unknown world of seminaries to tell entertaining and compelling personal stories of how faith is lived in today.

"The Calling" intercuts its characters’ stories from their first days of training, through years of study, and into their early practice as religious professionals. We follow them within and beyond the walls of their schools, confronting the sacrifices they’ve made to pursue this path.

We see them debate theology and philosophy, learn to deliver sermons, perform their first weddings and funerals, and counsel people in crisis. We also experience them as young people at the crossroads of their lives, struggling with dating, partners, family, and other challenges of coming of age.

These young people are charismatic and real, driven and self-reflective, confident and humble. They are seeking to reconcile the modern world and their faith through music and activism; balancing their egos and their desire to serve, and blazing new paths to leadership while conserving age-old traditions.

Video

Trailer: Independent Lens: The Calling

Above: It takes a true calling to make faith a way of life. A behind-the-scenes look at young Americans — Christian, Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim — preparing to become the nation's next generation of religious leaders, "The Calling" follows their transformation from idealistic students into ordained religious professionals.

Video

Independent Lens: The Calling: Video Extra

Above: What's your calling? What do you do to make your world a better place? A behind-the-scenes look at young Americans — Christian, Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim — preparing to become the nation's next generation of religious leaders, "The Calling" follows their transformation from idealistic students into ordained religious professionals.

Comments

Avatar for user 'sailorsal'

sailorsal | December 23, 2010 at 10:34 a.m. ― 4 years ago

The Calling is an excellent film covering the challenges and rewards of the modern day calling into ministry. I really enjoyed it and I am 65-years-old. Thank you!

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