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

Secretary of State Husted Shares Plan to Innovate and Invest image

Secretary of State Husted Shares Plan to Innovate and Invest

Secretary of State Husted Shares Plan to Innovate and Invest image

Published: September 10, 2018

Secretary of State Jon A. Husted met with Ohio Christian University (OCU), Circleville, and Pickaway County officials at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to discuss Attorney General Mike DeWine’s and his “Ohio Prosperity Plan” that they will implement if elected Ohio Governor and Lt. Governor. The Plan provides for training to give Ohioans 21st-century technology job skills through funding completion of 10,000 training certificates for skills such as basic computer software coding and data analytics. Short courses will cost around $600 each, offered by the likes of the
Secretary of State Jon A. Husted met with Ohio Christian University (OCU), Circleville, and Pickaway County officials at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to discuss Attorney General Mike DeWine’s and his “Ohio Prosperity Plan” that they will implement if elected Ohio Governor and Lt. Governor. The Plan provides for training to give Ohioans 21st-century technology job skills
Secretary of State Jon A. Husted met with Ohio Christian University (OCU), Circleville, and Pickaway County officials at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to discuss Attorney General
OCU Emergency Management Program Ranks #3

Ohio Christian University Ranks #3 of Online Emergency Management Programs!

OCU Emergency Management Program Ranks #3

Published: August 6, 2018

Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other awards, rankings, and reputation. OCU's Emergency and Disaster Management program trains students to lead during disasters. Graduates contribute during every stage of disaster management and recovery, including providing immediate relief and rebuilding and redeveloping communities. Student Lesli Holt, Operations Manager for Warren County Ohio's Office of Emergency Management, comments that “
Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other awards, rankings, and reputation. OCU's Emergency and Disaster Management program trains students to lead during disasters. Graduates contribute during every stage of disaster management and
Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other
Dean Joe Wuest

Dean Joe Wuest Recognized with 2018 Ruth Bamford Award

Dean Joe Wuest

Published: July 30, 2018

The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15 years, who have provided outstanding leadership and service to ACSD and their home institution, as well as contributed significantly to the field of student affairs.  Especially important is
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award. 
Organizational Leadership Ranks #14

#14 Best Organizational Leadership Program Nationwide

Organizational Leadership Ranks #14

Published: July 30, 2018

Ohio Christian University has been ranked as offering among the best Organizational Leadership programs in the country. This ranking from College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, puts Ohio Christian University in 14th place for Best Organizational Leadership Degrees. The complete ranking list is available here. According to College Choice, the rankings are based on institutional reputation, graduation rates, selectivity, and faculty resources.  Data for ranking comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, U.S.
Ohio Christian University has been ranked as offering among the best Organizational Leadership programs in the country. This ranking from College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, puts Ohio Christian University in 14th place for Best Organizational Leadership Degrees. The complete ranking list is available here. According to College Choice, the
Ohio Christian University has been ranked as offering among the best Organizational Leadership programs in the country. This ranking from College Choice, a leading authority in college and
Prof. Angela Flowers dances with Isabella Misita, her student at Pioneer Center in Chillocothe

New K-12 Needs Intervention Specialist Degree Program Open for Enrollment

Prof. Angela Flowers dances with Isabella Misita, her student at Pioneer Center in Chillocothe

Published: July 17, 2018

The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of Education standards for bachelor degree programs that prepare graduates for Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) licensure.  Enrollment into the new program is now open.    Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Department chair explains, “We train teachers who have a Christ-like calling to educate all children, including those with special needs.  With the opioid and poverty crises
The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of Education standards for bachelor degree programs that prepare graduates for Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) licensure.  Enrollment into the new program is now open.    Dr. Valerie Jones
The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of