Aron Reppmann, as a student Trinity Christian College, had with trouble finding a major. It was struggle between theology, sociology, and history.
Until a word of advice came, Reppmann felt confused. His mentor told him to try philosophy. A philosophy student could learn theology, sociology, and history—all at once. His senior thesis paper was on German philosophy. He later graduated, earning a degree.
Eventually, he returned to Trinity Christian College, to teach philosophy.
But his deep passion is for Plato. Reppmann earned a reputation of being the community’s very own Plato expert. What has Plato introduced? Dramas, Socratic dialogues and grand arguments about love and rhetoric–they were all Plato.
The professor holds a very optimistic view of community. Always interested in what the students might be interested in, Reppmann mentions that the students will find themselves in discovering how ordinary things might become more than what they expected. He also always desires to help, and the professor is always eager to listen.
In chapel, Reppmann listens to organ music. He knew it was good because he played an organ when he was younger. Also, the professor can play the French horn. Still fond of music, Reppmann is also a proud singer.
When Reppmann explained what he valued in life, it was primarily those who loved. He mentioned religion had been all encompassing throughout his life: there was never a moment when Reppmann felt the Christian life was second to none.
Reppmann said, “Friends who told me, or showed me… that even though I have things to improve and do, I am still loved and accepted.” He defined a friend as someone who accepts you, and someone wishes you could be the best you can be.
Professor Reppmann also recommended reading Gregory of Nyssa for broadening an understanding on theology. For anyone who explores the Bible and Christian teachings, Professor Reppmann highly recommends this fourth century bishop of Nyssa.
So, besides Plato, there is room for more: Gregory of Nyssa.
A student volunteered to answer questions for an interview concerning Professor Reppmann. Her name was Michelle, and she had very nice words to say. “Professor Reppmann is very humble.” She continues, “I like that he prefers Professor Reppmann, although he could be Doctor Reppmann. He would sit in the middle of the class and encourage dialogue. He would not demand that they would speak. I guess… he was a patient educator. Very patient with students. Times when nobody had anything to say, he was able to sit with the uncomfortable because through that he was able to wait until someone eventually would speak up.”
After this question, Michelle said Reppmann was very proactive. He sent an email earlier for Professor of the Year, and she remarked how he knew how to sing. It is also mentioned with gratitude how Professor Reppmann allows ULAs and gives students an opportunity to grow. “He wants to help that semester’s current students,” Michelle finally said, saying it was good overall for the classroom that ULAs were present.
As a fellow educator, Michelle admired Reppmann’s expectations and hope for his students. When she had Professor Reppmann, she liked the openness and responsibility placed on the students.
Some time ago in his philosophy class, Michelle remembers Professor Reppmann announcing he would come 10 minutes late to class. The students had to discuss their philosophy material in, and she thought it was a test Reppmann had set up. Michelle convinced herself Reppmann had set up a social experiment with the students, with an expectation to fulfill the task.
Whether it was an experiment or not, the expectations left Michelle impressed with how a professor could trust his students. Also, how the expectations were there for students who could get away without discussion for those ten brief minutes.
Michelle last said, “Professor Reppmann is very passionate, and I think the students should take every advantage of that passion. Unfortunately, not every professor exhibits passion in the classroom. I personally think philosophy is an incredibly worthwhile subject to get excited about.”
Before Professor Reppmann ended his own interview, there was a final thing to be said about Trinity Christian College. “…Deep, abiding spirit at Trinity. Something about this place that has a tone of seriousness and accessibility at the same time.”
When asked what he had meant, Professor Reppmann explained there was always room for deep reflection on life, but also a very light-heartedness too.
Room for both rumination and joy.