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
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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
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Archived Articles of Interest

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Ohio Christian University Hosts Epidemic of Hope Event

Ohio Christian University Hosts Epidemic of Hope Event image

Published: February 27, 2018

Former Major League baseball great Darryl Strawberry and his wife Tracy joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Monday, February 26 in the new Ministry
Former Major League baseball great Darryl Strawberry and his wife Tracy joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Monday, February 26 in the new Ministry
Former Major League baseball great Darryl Strawberry and his wife Tracy joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Monday, February 26 in the new Ministry
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Positive Thinking Will Enhance Your Life

Positive Thinking Will Enhance Your Life image

Published: February 26, 2018

Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost Thinking positively will greatly enhance your life and how God can use you. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking had a significant impact on my life while I was in high school. As I read this influential book, I resolved to think positively about everything to which I put myself. I aimed to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Therefore, I applied, was accepted, and graduated four years later. My positive thinking helped me succeed! I learned you become what you constantly think about: “Think positively,” Peale says, “and you set in motion
Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost Thinking positively will greatly enhance your life and how God can use you. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking had a significant impact on my life while I was in high school. As I read this influential book, I resolved to think positively about everything to which I put myself. I aimed to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Therefore, I applied
Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost Thinking positively will greatly enhance your life and how God can use you. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking had a significant impact on my life
Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins Receives 2018 Faith & Liberty Award

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Published: February 21, 2018

The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
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Student Profile: Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling

Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Published: February 7, 2018

If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar since age ten, but not serious about it until this year, Sophia strongly feels God wants her to go to Cambodia and play music for the people. It’s that simple and clear.  Despite initial doubts, she
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other
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Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Published: December 26, 2017

Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the future, but also enabling her to demonstrate faith-based leadership to her peers. Becoming a servant leader wasn’t always in the cards for Crowley.  Higher education seemed unobtainable to her until a
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to