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Imagine looking through the roster of well-known guests who visit Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., each year and inviting any of them to come to your table for a half-hour conversation.

That’s what the producer of Calvin’s TV show “Inner Compass” gets to do with hosts Shirley Hoogstra, vice president of student life; and Karen Saupe, professor of English.

The show explores religious, ethical, and social-justice issues with people who have devoted their lives to promoting what they believe is right. Recent topics include forgiveness, computer security, prisoners, stem-cell research, issues for the aging, and American trade policies. Calvin’s well-known January Series lectures provide especially rich additions to the interviewee pool.

The half-hour show airs on the Grand Rapids, Mich., PBS station WGVU-TV throughout western Michigan. It’s also available via podcast, since the show’s new director, Steven Niedzielski, wanted out-of-state alumni and others interested in thoughtful dialogue to have access to the show.

“The impact and relevance of the ‘Inner Compass’ program should not be limited geographically, as is our broadcast signal,” he said. “I wanted to broaden the reach of the program and make it available to anyone in the world.”

You can subscribe to the show in video or audio through the podcasts section of the iTunes Music Store, or download episodes from the “Inner Compass” website at

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