Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Lifelong Learning image

by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost

As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge. –Matt Mayberry

An education is important and prepares you to succeed in life, but if you do not continue to learn, increasing in knowledge and skills, you will eventually stagnate.  All too often promising leaders plateau early in their careers—because they stopped learning.  Even if you never change jobs again, your job will continue to change.  As a result, your strengths and weaknesses, relative to the needs of your job, are changing.  Those who do not continuously learn will be left behind by those who are learning.  As Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

Lifelong learners acquire information that enables them to do things that they couldn’t do previously. Additionally, they are more motivated for everyday activities, develop mental and thinking skills, add fun to their lives, and make new friends.  Finally, the professional benefits to lifelong learners include having more options for further employment, being in a better position than their competitors, and becoming better employees.

Lifelong learning is so important at OCU that one of the University’s Objectives is to “Demonstrate academic scholarship that creates a foundation for lifelong intellectual and professional development.”  OCU is producing self-directed, lifelong learners.  How is this achieved?  Most importantly, our faculty model lifelong learning.

Other ways this is achieved are many:

  • Students apply what they learn, not just acquire information.
  • Students engage in discussions to create curiosity.
  • Students are introduced to their chosen profession and what is required to succeed.
  • Faculty help students find their passions.
  • Students are assigned real-world case studies and try to solve real-world problems.
  • Students learn it is OK to try and fail, encouraging a "growth mindset," as advocated by Carol Dweck.
  • Students broaden their horizons by exposure to people and situations outside their "comfort zone."
  • Students discuss current events.
  • They perform research and discern good from bad information.
  • They learn to read and write critically.

Here are some ways to become accomplished at lifelong learning:

  • Read a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction, on a broad range of topics. As Charles Scribner, Jr. said: “Reading is a means of thinking with another person’s mind; it forces you to stretch your own.”  Personally, I highlight important points in books I read. Then I type up the words highlighted so that I can study them—not just read them.
  • Watch TED talks, webinars, and other videos.  Listen to podcasts or political debates on talk radio.  Read blogs.  Take a MOOC (massive open online course).  Watch movies.  All of these activities help you see the world from different perspectives.
  • Attend conferences/seminars/workshops.
  • Ask questions of skilled people. As Charles Lamb said: “We gain nothing by being with such as ourselves. We encourage one another in mediocrity. I am always longing to be with men more excellent than myself.” Questions to ask during a learning session, according to John Maxwell:
    • What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
    • What are you learning now?
    • What have you read that I should read?
  • Seek out a coach or mentor.
  • Seek feedback from your supervisor, subordinates, and peers.
  • Coach others.
  • Take on more responsibility in your job, church, or other organization in which you are involved.
  • Take up a hobby.
  • When you encounter new information, think about what you believe and why. Question and research the information.
  • Finally, ask yourself the question: What did I learn?  According to John Maxwell, “Experience isn’t the best teacher—evaluated experience is.” Always have a journal with you and write down each meeting you have with peers and business associates. Keep track of what you discussed so you can look back at what you learned and what transpired.  Keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

Do you want to be more successful and have more fun in life?  Being a lifelong learner will help you do both. I encourage you to incorporate some of these suggested methods of learning.  Find out what works for you.  My last advice is:  Step out of your "comfort zone."

Articles of Interest

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Published: March 19, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to contribute in a way that ensures that students have access to the materials they need to succeed in their courses. This is especially important with the transition to online learning. The company
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses
Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report
Trailblazers in Reading image

Trailblazers in Reading

Trailblazers in Reading image

Published: August 12, 2019

Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored by the English Department and hosted by the Maxwell Library staff. “The Great American Read” is a nationwide event started by the Public Broadcast System (PBS) in 2018. One hundred influential and
Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored
Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men
On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You?

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

Published: April 26, 2019

by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and Setting When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus
2019 Georgia Commencement image

2019 Georgia Commencement

2019 Georgia Commencement image

Published: April 11, 2019

On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be out there in society being salt and light.” He further challenged them stating that “your community needs you, your city needs you and your country needs you”.    Terence Chatmon was the commencement
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location

Archived Articles of Interest

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

Published: January 2, 2019

2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one.
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference
Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun'

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her hands-on approach with her students who can then pass it on to their students once they are in the classroom. “We always try to have fun,” she said. “I want my students at OCU to enjoy what we’re
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes
Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which technology has changed in their lifetimes. They can recall YouTube videos that were so influential a few years ago but have run their course. Likewise, many jobs like telemarketer, paralegal, and
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s
Faculty Profile:  Dr. Darren M. Johnson image

Faculty Profile: Dr. Darren M. Johnson

Faculty Profile:  Dr. Darren M. Johnson image

Published: November 16, 2018

Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, Diversity Issues in Counseling, Principles of Counseling, and Physiological Psychology. In 2017, ProQuest published Johnson’s “The Experience of Being an Atheist in the United States,” a report on his study of interviews with twelve atheists. He has presented on Coping with Stress in the Workplace, Good Grief: How Grieving Properly Can Be
Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, Diversity Issues in Counseling, Principles of Counseling, and Physiological Psychology. In 2017, ProQuest published Johnson’s “The Experience of
Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal
OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child' image

OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child'

OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child' image

Published: November 16, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program is guiding the next generation of teachers into modern day teaching. Valarie Jones, chair of the education department, said they’re teaching their education students about trauma-informed educating, a way to teach students who have been affected by trauma to their maximum potential. “Everything we do has the idea to love the kids first and then everything else comes after
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program is guiding the next generation of teachers into modern day teaching. Valarie Jones, chair of the education department, said they’re teaching their education students about trauma
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher