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

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers image

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers image

Published: March 23, 2016

The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies,
Students pose for a picture at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Students visit Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Students pose for a picture at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Published: March 22, 2016

On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour guide for the visit.  The first part of the tour took the students to the classroom area where Lieutenant Click provided an overview of what a cadet would experience in the classroom and basic standards of conduct.  Second, the students visited the indoor firing range, were given an overview of the types of weapons used on the range, and informed on the course of fire the cadets and Troopers
On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour guide for the visit.  The first part of the tour took the students to the classroom area where Lieutenant Click provided an overview of what a cadet would experience in the classroom and basic
On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour
Criminal Justice students study prison operations image

Criminal Justice students study prison operations

Criminal Justice students study prison operations image

Published: March 22, 2016

On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative  image

OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative

OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative  image

Published: March 21, 2016

Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for another effort. Kimberly Hettel, the Director of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, met with OCU’s Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Larry Olson, and the Director of OCU’s Substance
Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for
Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with
OCU Writing Center Presents at Writing Center Conference at the University of Notre Dame image

OCU Writing Center Presents at Writing Center Conference at the University of Notre Dame

OCU Writing Center Presents at Writing Center Conference at the University of Notre Dame image

Published: May 20, 2015

The OCU Writing Center has been busy this year. In addition to the over 400 drop-in visits they received from students, the twelve writing workshops they hosted, and their work with students in the Basic Writing Lab, they also presented at a professional writing conference this past spring.April 10-11, Dr. Krista Stonerock and Christine Zimmerman, co-directors of OCU Writing Center, accompanied a group of tutors to the annual East Central Writing Center Association (ECWCA) Conference held at the University of Notre Dame. Tutors Ethan Allen, Tim Allen, Brent Palmer, and Kelsey Blackman
The OCU Writing Center has been busy this year. In addition to the over 400 drop-in visits they received from students, the twelve writing workshops they hosted, and their work with students in the Basic Writing Lab, they also presented at a professional writing conference this past spring.April 10-11, Dr. Krista Stonerock and Christine Zimmerman, co-directors of OCU Writing Center,
The OCU Writing Center has been busy this year. In addition to the over 400 drop-in visits they received from students, the twelve writing workshops they hosted, and their work with students in the