Ryan Pemberton

Afternoon Seminar

“Follow Me: Identity, Vocation, and a Uniquely Christian Conception of Calling”

What does it mean to be called? What is unique about a Christian understanding of calling in a secular conversation of vocation, dreams, personal ambition, and identity? In this two-part interactive lecture series, author Ryan Pemberton will introduce the unique contributions of the most prominent contemporary Christian thinkers on the topic of calling, including Parker Palmer, Frederick Buechner, Timothy Keller, and Os Guinness, among others. Pemberton will also share how the theology of Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer lends often overlooked contributions to a uniquely Christian understanding of calling.

Following the theological consideration of the first session, the lecture’s second session will offer a biographical and autobiographical consideration of calling. Pemberton will consider the topic of calling from C. S. Lewis’s life as it relates to his writing career, from atheist poet to Christian apologist, followed by a time of Pemberton sharing how Christ’s call on his own life meant a surprising journey from the business world to Oxford, theology, and C. S. Lewis’s home, a series of painful closed doors, and an ultimately meaningful new direction. The session will conclude with a time for attendees to apply the class’s lessons to their own story in community with others. Attendees will leave with a clearer sense not only of the landscape of thought on Christian calling, but also how and where God is calling them in their own life.

Ryan Pemberton

Ryan J. Pemberton is an author and speaker who serves as the Minister for University Engagement at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley.

A former Scholar-In-Residence at the Kilns Study Center and past president of the Oxford University C.S. Lewis Society, Ryan authored Called: My Journey to C.S. Lewis’ House and Back Again, a memoir on calling, and Walking With C.S. Lewis, a multimedia curriculum covering 16 of Lewis’ most beloved works. In addition, Ryan has written for Christianity Today, Relevant, Bible Study Magazine, and Image Journal, and he has spoken widely on the topics of C.S. Lewis and calling.

As Minister for University Engagement, Ryan enjoys connecting the life of the church to the life of academic community at UC Berkeley. Ryan teaches and supports undergraduates and graduates on the themes of faith in higher education and Christian vocation.
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