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

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions image

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions image

Published: June 20, 2018

Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation.  Passages specialize in providing Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the Holy Land. The OCU students encountered the historic landscape of their Christian faith and modern-day Israel.  Significant sites visited were Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, Nazareth,
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation.  Passages specialize in providing Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by
Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On

Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

Published: June 20, 2018

On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in dynamic discussions, break-out activities and tasks that raised questions and prompted fresh thinking by even the most inquisitive participants. Hosted by social workers Amanda Knotts and Bryston
On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in
On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well
Student teaching major options with professor

First 2018 Orientation Day Biggest Ever!

Student teaching major options with professor

Published: May 21, 2018

Seventy-eight newly enrolled Ohio Christian University students, including nine transferring in from other schools, attended the day-long initial orientation with luncheon and campus tours. This day was the first of OCU’s several annual spring and summer orientation days.  The next days are scheduled for June 8 and 29.  Many students were accompanied by parents who appeared as eager to learn about the University experience as their daughters and sons. The day began at 8:30 am with a continental breakfast and concluded after walking tours of campus facilities.  Cool-to-warm sunny
Seventy-eight newly enrolled Ohio Christian University students, including nine transferring in from other schools, attended the day-long initial orientation with luncheon and campus tours. This day was the first of OCU’s several annual spring and summer orientation days.  The next days are scheduled for June 8 and 29.  Many students were accompanied by parents who appeared as eager to learn
Seventy-eight newly enrolled Ohio Christian University students, including nine transferring in from other schools, attended the day-long initial orientation with luncheon and campus tours. This
ARI Partners with OCU!

New Digital Marketing Micro-Credential Program

ARI Partners with OCU!

Published: May 8, 2018

Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-credentialing course designed to address training for the overwhelming demand for digital marketing jobs in the US and abroad.  For more on ARI's educational products, click ARI.  ARI’s digital marketing and w-commerce micro-certification course is designed to be a complete immersive program offering 20 days of intense study.  The firm deploys advanced learning, video-based technology giving
Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-credentialing course designed to address training for the overwhelming demand for digital marketing jobs in the US and abroad.  For more on ARI's educational products, click ARI.  ARI’s digital marketing
Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-
Exultant graduates of OCU Class of 2018!

Class of 2018 Celebrates Commencement

Exultant graduates of OCU Class of 2018!

Published: May 1, 2018

Ohio Christian University’s April 28 commencement filled the sunny, still chilly, spring day as 392 students graduated in two sessions from the University’s on-campus and online degree programs.  The entire class of 2018 numbers 770. Participants in the commencement represented twenty-four states.  The oldest graduate was 73 years old; the youngest was 20.  Of those present, one hundred and eleven received associate degrees; two hundred and fourteen received bachelor degrees; and, sixty-seven received master degrees. Degrees conferred included Associates of Arts in Business, Christian
Ohio Christian University’s April 28 commencement filled the sunny, still chilly, spring day as 392 students graduated in two sessions from the University’s on-campus and online degree programs.  The entire class of 2018 numbers 770. Participants in the commencement represented twenty-four states.  The oldest graduate was 73 years old; the youngest was 20.  Of those present, one hundred and
Ohio Christian University’s April 28 commencement filled the sunny, still chilly, spring day as 392 students graduated in two sessions from the University’s on-campus and online degree programs.