THEO 1000 – FAITH AND CRITICAL REASON
“I want to thank you for such an engaging first semester at Fordham. Your class and enthusiasm for the material made me genuinely excited to come to class. Honestly, as both a history major and atheist, I did not expect to experience something life-altering, but your teaching style and intellectual approach, regardless of the type of theology, really made my first-year experience special. You allowed me to challenge myself and appreciate aspects, particularly in the inner workings on Christianity, I had never considered. I am grateful to you for sharing your experience and expertise. Your class confirmed my passion for writing and theological concepts and I am so excited to be pursuing a major in history. It was a pleasure being in your class. Thank you so much again.”
– Amelia C.
“I was one of your students for the Faith and Critical Reasoning class back in Fall 2019. After taking the course, I had a better understanding about different religions around the world and how we can appreciate or respect the practices that each religion has. I want to thank you for providing us with a better sense on what faith is and how faith is being applied in different ways.”
– Phuc V.
“Faith & Critical Reason with Professor Sasongko was a surprising pleasure. Attending a Jesuit university, one would expect that the theology requirement included a deep dive into the Catholic faith, and more realistically, a lesson mirroring an indoctrination. This was far from the truth. The course shared many similarities with a history class. With each passing week, Professor Sasongko focused on a new faith: from Judaism to Hinduism to Buddhism. There was a unique emphasis on each religion’s background, fundamental values and core practices, and modern impact. This structure provided a holistic understanding of world religion and shed light on how the Eastern and Western worlds interact. Overall, Faith & Critical Reason offered invaluable insights while exploring many underappreciated yet hugely rich cultures.
Despite COVID-19 and the emerging virtual world, Professor Sasongko struck an effective balance between synchronous and asynchronous work. Before every Tuesday class, students needed to complete select readings from Blackboard. During class, Professor Sasongko began by lecturing; his animated and genuinely passionate lectures made the material much more enjoyable. Later, he afforded students with time to discuss their interpretations. This opportunity was succeeded by Friday meetings with four to five-person groups. These groups answer questions regarding the readings and contemplate their relevance to the contemporary world.
Professor Sasongko’s teaching format gave every student a voice and encouraged active participation with the text, faith, and peers. Professor Sasongko led a very engaging class. He never emphasized one religion over another. He is a true educator who wants his students to succeed and navigate spirituality in a thoughtful manner. Professor Sasongko is a great professor, someone I look forward to learning from in my Sacred Texts & Traditions class. From his lessons, I have walked away with more knowledge and understanding than I could have hoped.”
– Jessica V.
“I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from the theology that I took with you last semester. Your teaching style and interaction with the class made the study of theology challenging and fun. Honestly, I thought I could not study theology very well because I am an atheist. However, I feel much more confident learning theology and its history by taking your class.”
– Yangyang W.
“Sir, aku mau mengucapkan terima kasih aku untuk Mr yang udah menerima aku untuk attend kelas Mr dan mengajar aku topik yang sangat interesting. I have to say that you are one of the most charismatic, energetic, and kind teachers I have ever had in my life. Aku bener-bener bersyukur diajari oleh seorang guru seperti Mr, apalagi pada semester pertama baru mulai fase belajar yang baru, di sistem yang berbeda dari Indonesia. Walaupun Mr tidak bakal ngajar aku lagi, semoga bisa keep in touch. Also, semoga kita kapan-kapan bisa bertemu di New York if the future allows so.”
– Josiah L.
“I wanted to email and let you know how much I love your class, you are truly one of the best at Fordham and currently my favorite professor. Getting the news that we will not be meeting in person again was so sad to me 😦 Thank you so much for all the hard work, care and effort you put into making the class transition smoothly online and making sure your students are healthy. I truly appreciate it. Have a great weekend!! Thank you again.”
– Fatmaelzahraa A.
“Thank you for an amazing semester, and being so amazing with the online transition. I really admire how passionate you are as a teacher because it made me passionate about this class, and what I’ve learned has changed my life forever.”
– Raquel A.
“I have to say that I really enjoyed coming to your class and having you as a professor. Your kind and accepting attitude toward each one of us made the class comfortable and fun. Thank you for all that you’ve done and I hope to see you next semester!”
– Esha H.
“Thank you so much for a lovely semester! You have truly made this class engaging and fascinating and I’m really grateful for the amazing experience I had and the knowledge I’ve gained from this class! Thank you for being one of the kindest professors I’ve ever had!”
– Gabriela M.
“Dear Professor, I hope this email is not the last correspondence between you and me. It has truly been great to have you as my professor this year. I learned new concepts and developed new skill sets that I am certain will help me throughout the rest of my academic and professional career.”
– Afwan K.
“Thank you so much for such a thought-provoking semester. As my first class discussing religion, you have set a very great foundation for me for my second theology class. I hope to meet you in person after COVID has passed and hopefully get into your theology class this summer. “
– Jaskiran K.
“Thank you for teaching us theology class this semester and I find that your teaching method is very interesting. As a Chinese student, I was afraid of learning theology class at the beginning because I didn’t know anything about it before. But your teaching makes the class fun and makes the terms and reading material easy to understand. With your help, I am able to finish these papers and exams efficiently and organizedly. I thought I had a good understanding of the class material so that I can write these papers well. Although I am in a different time zone, which I take classes at mid-night for a semester, I still attended the classes or watched the videos, and did the discussion questions. It’s a hard year for everyone, but we have a happy end!”
– Hongmin Z.
“I have truly really enjoyed your classes. I am sorry if my lack of participation during class and my camera being off sometimes gave a sense of disrespect or lack of interest in the class. That is not my intent, it is hard for me to gather my thoughts and speak because I am a shy individual. That is something I’ve been working on for a while and still am. Your class made religion very interesting for me as a person who has a history of denouncing and dismissing religion in a heartbeat. Thank you so much for making this semester great. This is the best class I’ve taken at this school so far. I hope I will be able to take your sacred texts class during the summer. I’ve had my first experience registering for classes just last week, and I must say, it’s hectic. But, I am optimistic that I may be able to take your class this summer.”
– David W.
“I really appreciate this class as well, it seems like we have built a small yet warm community in this class. It’s a testament to how comfortable you’ve made us students feel. This class has actually been a beacon of light for me in my overall tough semester. There have been moments so far this semester where I have struggled to get by academically but this class gave me moments to just enjoy school. I find myself being reminded of why education is so valuable, not because the grind towards a degree is necessary but because it is the catalyst of personal and spiritual growth. I really like how this class has made me question my own spirituality. I think this is the beauty of God, being a nurturer of growth. I think regardless of beliefs, growth is one of the essences of the human experience. I really appreciate the warmth you bring to the environment. It is actually my dream to one day work in education as a teacher, so you have my dream job! Maybe we can meet one on one sometime soon and talk about your own educational journey! See you soon Professor!”
– Marco F.
THEO 3610-R12 – CHRIST IN WORLD CULTURES
“I would like to thank you for another wonderful semester! I came to Fordham without any awareness of spirituality and religion, and through both Faith and Critical Reason and this Christ in World Cultures class, you have opened my eyes to many astounding beliefs! Thank you!”
– Claire J.
“Thank you for an amazing semester! I truly enjoyed this class and all the information that we learned in it. Because of you, I have learned more about Christianity and have learned things that I have never learned before, or thought I would have never learned before. I hope you have an amazing and healthy rest of your summer. Hopefully we will see each other on campus in the fall! Thank you again!!!!”
– Philip M.
“Professor Sasangko was very thorough in examining myriad perspectives on confusing topics, which helped extrapolate a lot of the content we went through. I felt as though his own personal religious views did not get in the way of the class, which I find to be extremely respectable. Professor Sasangko was also moving across the world from another country during the continuation of the course; despite this, he always brought excitement to his teaching.”
“I really enjoyed the ‘Jesus in Visual Arts Presentation,’ as it gave us the freedom to explore artworks on our own. I was particularly excited when the project was announced because I knew exactly what I would be presenting on. I also liked the format of the final project, as it was very collaborative and not too stressful at all.”
“I enjoyed the discussions with our group members because it gave me a chance to talk with my peers and ask questions. All of the readings are very helpful and interesting. I have learned so much in so little time. Super engaging and follows syllabus perfectly! Very organized.”
“I like how engaging he was with the class because it made me excited to participate. He was very enthusiastic which made the class more fun. He encouraged us to share are own opinions with the class and ask questions with the readings. He explains everything very well. He moves at a pace that is not too slow or too fast. Great professor, no complaints. Encouraged participation and great feedback. Awesome content, very smart. Really friendly and open to being flexible with us and what we thought might work best!”
– Course Evaluation
THEO 3611-R01 – CHRISTIAN MYSTICAL TEXTS
“Now that our class is officially over, I would just like to say a huge thank you for teaching me Christian Mystical Texts this semester! I was very curious about this subject, and taking this course has only deepened my interest in theology! Class was always very engaging as well as interactive, and it never failed to brighten my mood! Thank you so much for really caring about this class and our well-being, while also being able to learn a lot and have fun. Even given the odd circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was still clear how much you cared for the students, which made learning the material more easy and enjoyable. Thank you for also being so responsive to our questions as well as flexible with the material throughout this semester as well! The content of this course really helped me take a broader perspective on life, and was truly thought-provoking! I hope you have a great summer, and wish you the best of luck in the future! Thanks again!”
– Daniel G.
“He truly showed care and appreciation for the students and their work. He was very enthusiastic about teaching, which helped keep students’ interest throughout the duration of the class. He was very knowledgeable about the topic of the course, and made learning an overall very enjoyable experience.”
“He was incredibly friendly and cared about the students individually. Professor created a calm and inclusive learning environment, never felt too stressed in this class or afraid to share my thoughts.”
“I found that Professor Sasangko explained everything that we read. Although the explanations were not in a powerpoint, which is personally easier for me to grasp information, I still enjoyed taking notes of the lessons that he was dictating. His lessons were full of knowledge and understanding of materials that I had previously not understood.”
“He was diligent with learning names, interacting one on one as students entered, and checked in on his students. This created a welcoming environment thus encouraging the discussions that we had.”
“Professor Sasongko was extremely active in the classroom and made sure he gave equal time and opportunity to every student.”
“He is very caring and open to listening to others students ideas and thoughts. He has a warm and inviting aura and invites students to always participate. He helps us expand outside of our comfort zone and shows genuine care for his students.”
“(1) He is very passionate about the subject and I really enjoy that (2) Besides EP, he really involves the whole class though we may not know the answer he still calls us and helps us understand (3) helpful in office hours and provides great feedback on assignments.”
“I found his willingness to connect with students and make sure they are not stressed out no matter the circumstances was crucial. He was very kind and never got frustrated with any of us. His energy level was great and welcoming. Greatly needed to keep students engagement during a class that either starts very early if a end of day one.”
– Course Evaluation