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

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
Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith

Archived Articles of Interest

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
Caleb Friedeman - Religion Professor

Faculty Profile: Dr. Caleb Friedeman

Caleb Friedeman - Religion Professor

Published: November 1, 2018

Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a pastor-theologian, Friedeman brings to the department the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. Friedeman holds a B.A. in Ancient Languages from Asbury University, an M.A. in Biblical Literature from Wesley Biblical Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament) from Wheaton College. His doctoral dissertation focused on the Christology of Luke chapters 1 and 2 and its
Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a pastor-theologian, Friedeman brings to the department the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. Friedeman holds a B.A. in Ancient Languages from Asbury University, an M.A. in Biblical
Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a
Professor Krista Stonerock, General Studies Department Chairperson

Writing Center Success Highlighted at Conference for Writing Program Administrators

Professor Krista Stonerock, General Studies Department Chairperson

Published: October 8, 2018

English Professor Krista Stonerock, Writing Center Director at Ohio Christian University (OCU), recently presented “Connecting the University Writing Center to the First-Year Experience” at the Conference for Writing Program Administrators in Sacramento, California. Dr. Stonerock described how the OCU Writing Center serves as a critical resource for at-risk students during their first year at the university. Citing reflective logs of peer tutors and surveys of first-year students that illuminate the concerns and successes of the Writing Center, she described how the center is poised
English Professor Krista Stonerock, Writing Center Director at Ohio Christian University (OCU), recently presented “Connecting the University Writing Center to the First-Year Experience” at the Conference for Writing Program Administrators in Sacramento, California. Dr. Stonerock described how the OCU Writing Center serves as a critical resource for at-risk students during their first year
English Professor Krista Stonerock, Writing Center Director at Ohio Christian University (OCU), recently presented “Connecting the University Writing Center to the First-Year Experience” at the
Summer Adventures into Central Ohio History image

Summer Adventures into Central Ohio History

Summer Adventures into Central Ohio History image

Published: September 14, 2018

By Amber Ginter, ‘19 Every summer, Ohio Christian University offers monthly on-campus and online courses ranging from Math Systems to Music Fundamentals, Psychology, and Ohio History. The courses carry college credit and exciting field adventures. In teaching central Ohio history, Professor Michael Burchett provides hands-on activities. Most students are teacher education majors, interested in local history for creating more effective and interactive lessons. Trips to Logan's Elm, Adena Mansion and Gardens, The Ohio History Connection, and Tecumseh bring the subject to life, and the
By Amber Ginter, ‘19 Every summer, Ohio Christian University offers monthly on-campus and online courses ranging from Math Systems to Music Fundamentals, Psychology, and Ohio History. The courses carry college credit and exciting field adventures. In teaching central Ohio history, Professor Michael Burchett provides hands-on activities. Most students are teacher education majors, interested
By Amber Ginter, ‘19 Every summer, Ohio Christian University offers monthly on-campus and online courses ranging from Math Systems to Music Fundamentals, Psychology, and Ohio History. The courses
Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor image

Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor

Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor image

Published: September 14, 2018

By Amber Ginter ‘19 English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this year, Barr found his activities refreshing and fruitful. In May, Barr became lead writer for Ohio Christian University’s (OCU) accreditation report for the Higher Learning Commission. In preparing for the Commission’s 2019 visit, he is examining all aspects of OCU’s effectiveness. Barr met with the audit preparation team to discuss five main areas within 21 sub-components. These included
By Amber Ginter ‘19 English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this year, Barr found his activities refreshing and fruitful. In May, Barr became lead writer for Ohio Christian University’s (OCU) accreditation report for the Higher Learning Commission. In preparing
By Amber Ginter ‘19 English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this