Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (Ed.D.)

Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (Ed.D.)


The Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD) is a 54-credit-hour, dissertation-in-praxis degree designed to produce cognitive and skill development in the areas of theory and praxis of leadership and education for application in the academy and faith-based organization. Empirical research is conducted requiring a dissertation-in-praxis academic artifact within the context of a learning community. This design and delivery model is uniquely structured in a way that sets the EdD apart from other doctoral degrees at Liberty University.

Program Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  • Appraise biblical and theological principles as they relate to educational and leadership philosophy, theory, and practice.
  • Evaluate the foundational knowledge-base, the character qualities, and essential skill sets to effectively lead a faith-based organization.
  • Synthesize teaching, learning, and group theory as foundational elements of effective leadership.
  • Create an original program, product, or process that demonstrates doctoral-level knowledge of the literature of the discipline, scholarship, professionalism, and application.

Program Specific Admissions Requirements

In addition to general requirements for admission to the School of Divinity, applicants for admission to the Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership must submit the following for review:

  1. An earned seminary degree or graduate degree with at least 36 hours from a regionally accredited seminary or university. All official transcripts must be submitted as part of the application process. 
  2. An earned grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all previous graduate work.
  3. Applicants must submit a Statement of Purpose that answers the following questions (1000 – 1500):
    1. How has your previous education and/or work experience prepared you for doctoral studies at Liberty University?
    2. What is your goal with regard to pursuing doctoral education at Liberty University?
    3. Please describe the character and values you possess that will help you succeed in your desired field.
  4. John W. Rawlings School of Divinity Questionnaire (login required)

Transfer Credit

Transfer hours may not exceed 27 credit hours for the Ed.D. program. Transfer credits can only be accepted towards cognate courses. Course work must be within the previous seven (7) years from a regionally accredited program to be accepted. Courses must have a grade of B- or higher to be eligible for consideration for transfer credit. Correspondence studies or life experiences will not be accepted for transfer credit. Credits from a prior degree earned through Liberty University are considered transfer credits.

Dissertation Process

A dissertation-in-praxis is required and is completed in a two-phase process. Upon completion of the core and cognate course requirements (36 hours), the student then enters the second phase of the dissertation-in-praxis process under the direct supervision of a dissertation committee.

Once students enter the dissertation-in-praxis phase of their degree (praxis courses), they must maintain continuous enrollment (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters) until they complete all degree requirements (including, but not limited to, comprehensive exams, and all phases of the praxis project). If they do not, they will break enrollment, and they will be required to apply for readmission if/when they wish to resume the pursuit of their degree. They will have to complete their degree under the Degree Completion Plan (DCP) in effect at the time of their readmission.

Time Limits for Degree Completion

The time limit for completing the degree from the date of admission to the program is seven (7) years for the Ed.D. Only in unusual circumstances may the student be granted an extension. Granting of an extension of time will usually result in additional requirements. Any student who does not complete coursework within the permissible time limit, for any reason including discontinued enrollment, must reapply for admission. A student may reapply only once and will be subject to the current standards and curriculum. The Ed.D. Graduate Committee in the CCFS will determine if any previous courses are sufficiently time-sensitive and must be repeated. Beginning with the date of readmission, the student’s time limit for degree completion is determined by the number of hours remaining.

  • Academic Teaching and Leadership Role
  • Faith-Based Organizational Leadership Role
  • Ministry or Missions Leadership Role
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