The Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC) ― whose partners include the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ― has announced the four television specials that will comprise NBC-Television’s “Horizons of the Spirit” series this year.

In addition to the four specials, IBC will produce a Christmas special for NBC, to air on the evening of Dec. 24, 2011.

The specials will air on NBC affiliates on May 1, June 12, Sept. 25 and Nov. 13. Viewers should check their local NBC-TV schedule for exact air time on those dates.

Three of the four specials are presented by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (NCC) and the fourth by the IBC’s Roman Catholic Consortium. Four different IBC partners produced the individual programs.

The Interfaith Broadcasting Commission ― now 50 years old ― is a collaborative venture of American faith groups to provide television programming with quality religious content for the affiliates of ABC, CBS, and NBC. The IBC partners include communions from across the Christian spectrum — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, African-American — and representative groups from Jewish and Muslim traditions.

The 2011 “Horizons of the Spirit” line-up:

A Killer in the Dark: An Extraordinary Effort to Combat Malaria (May 1) ― presented by the NCC and produced by United Methodist Communications, this program chronicles community-based efforts on both sides of the ocean as everyday people strive to purge a disease that will take the life of a child every 45 seconds. DVDs are available from (888) 346-3862.

Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness (June 12) ― presented by the NCC and produced by Third Way Media, this program takes an inside look at what it is like to live with a mental illness and how individuals and their families find their way through a tangle of mental, medical, governmental, societal and spiritual issues. It includes interviews with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and other experts as well as stories from 10 persons and families living with mental illness. DVDs are available from (800) 999-3534. 

Lives for Sale: Immigration & Human Trafficking (Sept. 25) ― presented by the Roman Catholic Consortium and produced by Maryknoll Media Productions, this program exposes the painful, rarely seen human side of illegal immigration ― human trafficking, the growing black market trade in human beings in the United States. DVDs are available from (800) 258-5838

Journey into Action: Helping Hands in the Economic Crisis (Nov. 13) ― presented by the NCC and produced by Trinity Wall Street, this program looks hard at how Episcopal churches are helping people get back on their feet and the vital presence of local churches in communities hit hard by the downturn ― from the inner city to organic farms to the Great Plains to people overseas.