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

Samantha Roberts won $5,000 for 1st place

2018 Business Plan Competition Is Opportunity to Excel

Samantha Roberts won $5,000 for 1st place

Published: April 17, 2018

On April 6 at the annual awards banquet, five finalists in Ohio Christian University’s 2018 Business Plan Competition received recognition and cash awards. Students enrolled in the School of Business
On April 6 at the annual awards banquet, five finalists in Ohio Christian University’s 2018 Business Plan Competition received recognition and cash awards. Students enrolled in the School of Business
On April 6 at the annual awards banquet, five finalists in Ohio Christian University’s 2018 Business Plan Competition received recognition and cash awards. Students enrolled in the School of
OCU Georgia Graduates Celebrate at Commencement!

2018 Georgia Commencement

OCU Georgia Graduates Celebrate at Commencement!

Published: April 12, 2018

Ohio Christian University graduates celebrated their Commencement on Saturday, April 7, at Divine Faith Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. One hundred and thirty-three graduates received their degrees from President Jon S. Kulaga and Vice President Bradford Sample. Georgia Senator Emanuel Jones spoke about how Jesus is the ‘game changer’ and challenged graduates to seek to be like Him. Jones represents Georgia's 10th District, sitting on the Banking and Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Tourism, Interstate Cooperation, Special Judiciary and Retirement Committees. He holds
Ohio Christian University graduates celebrated their Commencement on Saturday, April 7, at Divine Faith Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. One hundred and thirty-three graduates received their degrees from President Jon S. Kulaga and Vice President Bradford Sample. Georgia Senator Emanuel Jones spoke about how Jesus is the ‘game changer’ and challenged graduates to seek to be like Him. Jones
Ohio Christian University graduates celebrated their Commencement on Saturday, April 7, at Divine Faith Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. One hundred and thirty-three graduates received their degrees
Spring Semester 2019 in Italy

Experience Spring Semester 2019 in Italy!

Spring Semester 2019 in Italy

Published: March 29, 2018

OCUOnline Plus is partnering with Saints Bible Institute (SBI) to provide students an opportunity to spend a semester in Italy. In the spring of 2019, the semester-long trip will enable students to achieve personal growth, mission training, and intensive learning as they study and explore with a community of learners. “This semester of study in Italy will expand students’ horizons as they interact with Italians, SBI’s faith-filled faculty, and fellow students from across the United States. Participants will be able to walk the same paths as Apostle Paul, sit in Leonardo da Vinci’s
OCUOnline Plus is partnering with Saints Bible Institute (SBI) to provide students an opportunity to spend a semester in Italy. In the spring of 2019, the semester-long trip will enable students to achieve personal growth, mission training, and intensive learning as they study and explore with a community of learners. “This semester of study in Italy will expand students’ horizons as they
OCUOnline Plus is partnering with Saints Bible Institute (SBI) to provide students an opportunity to spend a semester in Italy. In the spring of 2019, the semester-long trip will enable students to
OCU Online BA in English Ranked #1 for Affordability

OCU Online BA in English Ranked #1 for Affordability

OCU Online BA in English Ranked #1 for Affordability

Published: March 22, 2018

SR Education Group has ranked Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Arts in English the #1 program most affordable for a yearly tuition of only $5,940. Courses include History and Nature of the English Language, Literary Criticism, and Studies in Shakespeare. Learn more about SR Education Group and view its methodology.        
SR Education Group has ranked Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Arts in English the #1 program most affordable for a yearly tuition of only $5,940. Courses include History and Nature of the English Language, Literary Criticism, and Studies in Shakespeare. Learn more about SR Education Group and view its methodology.        
SR Education Group has ranked Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Arts in English the #1 program most affordable for a yearly tuition of only $5,940. Courses include History and Nature
Georgia State Senator Emauel Jones

Georgia State Senator Emanuel Jones to Speak at Morrow Graduation

Georgia State Senator Emauel Jones

Published: March 12, 2018

One hundred and three OCU Morrow students will graduate at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Divine Faith Church, 9800 Tara Blvd., Jonesboro, Georgia. Graduation speaker is Senator Emanuel Jones who was elected to Georgia's Senate from the 10th District in 2004 and represents southwest DeKalb and Henry counties. Senator Jones is chairman of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council and served as chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.  He is a member of the Banking and Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Tourism, Interstate Cooperation, Special
One hundred and three OCU Morrow students will graduate at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Divine Faith Church, 9800 Tara Blvd., Jonesboro, Georgia. Graduation speaker is Senator Emanuel Jones who was elected to Georgia's Senate from the 10th District in 2004 and represents southwest DeKalb and Henry counties. Senator Jones is chairman of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory
One hundred and three OCU Morrow students will graduate at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Divine Faith Church, 9800 Tara Blvd., Jonesboro, Georgia. Graduation speaker is Senator Emanuel