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

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

Published: October 17, 2016

By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and abilities. A purpose given to them because our King knows what He is doing. I sit in a class of 20 people and think, "there are 20 world changers right here." It amazes me to think what we, as
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I
OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th image

OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th

OCU to Host FAFSA Workshop on Oct. 8th image

Published: October 3, 2016

By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, a financial aid workshop sponsored by Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students) and Ohio Christian University (OCU). The workshop is free and will take place on Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at OCU’s Maxwell Center. Professional financial counselors will be available to give individual help, answer questions, and assist with the online
By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, a financial aid workshop sponsored by Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students) and Ohio Christian University (OCU). The workshop is free and will
By Amanda Plotts, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald   Future college students who need help navigating the financial aid system are encouraged to attend FAFSA (Free Application for
Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective. image

Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective.

Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective. image

Published: September 15, 2016

By Jordyn Williams (pictured) In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow longer and our nights shorten as we return home from a seven hour day of school only to spend additional hours studying and completing homework for multiple AP and honors classes. We wake up early the next morning to repeat the cycle. Work-free weekends are infrequent when they have become filled with youth leadership group gatherings, club meetings, community service, and SAT/ACT prep. The
By Jordyn Williams (pictured) In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow longer and our nights shorten as we return home from a seven hour day of school only to spend additional hours studying and completing homework for multiple AP and honors classes. We wake up early
By Jordyn Williams (pictured) In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow
OCU Graduates Celebrate Commencement at the Morning Ceremony

Record 810 Graduates Celebrate Commencement

OCU Graduates Celebrate Commencement at the Morning Ceremony

Published: May 26, 2016

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates participated a total of four ceremonies: three in Ohio and one in Georgia earlier this month. Kelvin J. Cochran of Atlanta, Georgia, was the 2016 Commencement speaker. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Cochran followed his childhood dream and became a firefighter in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he was appointed Fire Chief of the Shreveport Fire Department in 1999
On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates participated a total of four ceremonies: three in Ohio and one in Georgia earlier this month. Kelvin J. Cochran of Atlanta, Georgia, was the 2016 Commencement speaker. Originally from
On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level
Morrow Campus graduates gather for a photo-op.

Georgia Campus Celebrates First-Ever Graduation

Morrow Campus graduates gather for a photo-op.

Published: April 20, 2016

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate, Bachelor, and Master level graduates, for onsite and online, participated in the historic ceremony. MBA graduate Charlotte Daniely said, “The graduation was excellent.  I am extremely proud to say I am a graduate from Ohio Christian. The Lord was in the house!” An honorary doctorate was awarded to Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Dr. Shawn Thomas, Dean for the Morrow Campus said, “
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate, Bachelor, and Master level graduates, for onsite and online, participated in the historic ceremony. MBA graduate Charlotte Daniely said, “The graduation was excellent.  I am extremely proud to say I
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate,