Dallas Jenkins is the director and creator of “The Chosen” as well as a University of Northwestern–St. Paul alumnus.
Jenkins knew in high school what he wanted to study in college and do with his life. He said, “I saw the movie ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ in high school and decided filmmaking was a great way to impact people emotionally. I also was confused by how bad Christian media was and how scarce it was, so I thought maybe there was potential there to fill a void.”
For Jenkins, choosing to attend UNW happened in a moment. In that moment, he suddenly felt that “I’m going to Northwestern.” He describes feeling at peace with the choice—even though he never visited UNW. He had only spoken to the basketball coach and heard good things about the school. “I just knew,” he remarked.
Time spent at UNW holds some fun and fond memories for Jenkins. While meeting his wife, Amanda, a UNW alumna, is at the top of his list, there are a few other memories that come to mind for him.
“I’ll always remember the major revival that happened in 1995 during a chapel service,” Jenkins reminisced. “Fun-wise, I led our senior prank where we literally turned over every desk, chair and couch on the entire campus in one night for everyone to arrive to the next day.”
Currently, Jenkins is in the middle of editing and finalizing episodes of season two of “The Chosen.”
He explained the challenges of this career: “Making a decent movie or TV show is immensely difficult. I have to manage hundreds of people in a cohesive way in order to make a project work creatively and logistically. Doing all that while trying to be a good husband and father has been the biggest challenge.”
However, work does have its rewards as well. For Jenkins, there is nothing better than hearing testimonies from people on how his work has helped them and brought them closer to Jesus.
Jenkins’ one piece of advice for current UNW students is this: “It’s not your job to feed the 5,000; it’s only to provide the loaves and fish. Work hard in all aspects of your life, including spiritually, to provide the very best that you have to God. When you bring them to Him and He deems them worthy, the transaction is over … the results and success or failure are up to Him.”