Interview with Dr. Bruce Reichenbach
He have seen his teaching role to stimulate students to consider, question, and carefully develop their own viewpoints. In class and conversation he challenges students to think, not only about the positions they hold, but the reasoning they use to support their views. Through this dialogue students can blossom into careful and creative thinkers and into persons of faith. Professor Bruce Reichenbach loves to write both books (9) and articles (over 70), to travel (have been in over 70 countries), to be outdoors (we camp, hike, and canoe in the lake country of Minnesota), to play racquetball, and to explore.
1. What is the purpose of your visit to the CCE in Slovakia?
We came to Slovakia to serve God in whatever capacity the leaders at CCE want us to serve. We also want to meet and get to know the people in the ministry here and the students we work with.
2. What are you doing at home, in US?
I am retired after 43 years of teaching philosophy at Augsburg College, which is a Lutheran Liberal Arts College in Minneapolis. As my “work” at home I now research and write, teach Sunday School, and connect with pastors and students around the world as my ministry. For my recreation we travel and keep physically active.
3. What do you do while you´re here?
I am conducting a faculty development seminar in Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher at the University of Zilina, teaching a college preparation course (how to prepare and what to expect in the university) for the 2nd year gymnasium students, doing a seminar on my book on divine providence with the Bible School faculty, and will lead a leadership workshop for the pastors in the area.
4. What have you found the most challenging in your ministry in Slovakia?
Language is always the issue, since some of what I am doing needs a translator. Not being fluent in Slovak prevents me from engaging students in true dialogue.
5. Have you managed the overcome these obstacles? If so, how?
I have had some very fine translators who are knowledgeable and understanding.
6. What is your energy source for your life? What charges you?
My faith in Christ motivates me. My wife who is my faithful, loving companion accompanies me on my journey; what we do, we accomplish as partners. My love of teaching makes opportunities to teach very rewarding. My curiosity and love of learning pushes me into seeking new opportunities for growth and understanding.
7. Are there occasions when you feel like „the tree growing close the water“? What helps you to nourish this feeling in your everyday life?
I am like the tree when I am in a meaningful ministry, wherever that may be, contributing to the lives and growth of others, and growing myself.
8. What do you find most rewarding in you ministry here in Slovakia?
The people with whom we work are accepting and appreciative of what we are trying to do. People always make the most significant difference in my experiences.
9. Is there anything you have learned during your stay in Slovakia?
I have enjoyed getting to know the people here. I have listened to many stories about how Slovakia came through the wars, the communist era, and now the post-communist era. I have also discovered how beautiful Slovakia is.
10. What is your favorite part of Bible (yours favorite verse). Why?
Each part has its own special character, from psalms of praise and prophetic statements of justice to stories of Jesus’ ministry and the theology of the Apostles. I especially enjoy the stories in Genesis, for they richly speak about people who have great strengths and terrible failings and with whom I can identify.
Profile of Dr. Bruce Reichenbach
My life has centered around teaching, both as a professional career and doing volunteer work in other countries. My passion for teaching and the rewards I receive come from the students I teach. I enjoy seeing students discover and learn, grow in their appreciation of what they read and study, mature in their critical thinking skills, and come to a greater understanding of themselves and the world around and beyond them. Philosophy provides the perfect context for these tasks when it asks us to discern the meaning, truth, justification, and significance of those ideas. Philosophy also prompts us to ask very personal questions about the meaning and significance of life and about our individual vocation, which is, in diverse ways, to serve others on behalf of God. I have seen my teaching role to stimulate students to consider, question, and carefully develop their own viewpoints. In class and conversation I challenge students to think, not only about the positions they hold, but the reasoning they use to support their views. Through this dialogue and with lots of support, students can blossom into careful and creative thinkers, and I hope, into persons of faith.
I have many interests besides teaching. I have a wonderful family, with two married children and our first grandchild on the way. I also love to write both books (9) and articles (over 70), to travel (have been in over 70 countries), to be outdoors (we camp, hike, and canoe in the lake country of Minnesota), to play racquetball, and to explore.
I took one of Dr. Reichenbach’s classes while at Augsburg. I am very happy he was able to come to CCE and present on critical thinking.