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

Professor Larry Olson

Christmas in the Wesleyan Tradition

Professor Larry Olson

Published: December 6, 2017

An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and inspires the individual in society, the human condition? LO:  Sure.  Great question!  In our Integration of Faith and Psychology course, we talk about personality theories.  Why do we need them? 
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society
Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Published: November 28, 2017

As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership Conference on the effect of poverty and the opioid crisis on Ohio youth.  They joined some 600 attendees in the University of Akron’s historic Quaker Station conference center to hear Ohio Senators Sherrod
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian
Reformation Day Celebration

Join OCU's Reformation Day Celebration!

Reformation Day Celebration

Published: October 30, 2017

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by a panel Q
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and
Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

A Wesleyan’s Debt to Luther on Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Published: October 30, 2017

By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans are children of the Reformation. The three great hallmarks of Reformation theology are: Salvation by grace through faith alone, Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), and the priesthood of all
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be
Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Importance of a Christian Education

Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Published: November 8, 2016

Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of a college or university form the imagination and hearts of its students—whether designed or not. If drinking and partying are accepted and even expected to “fit in,” then many students will
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular”