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doctor of education graduate shakes president's hand as he receives diploma on graduation stage

Doctor of Education

Earn a doctorate degree in educational leadership at SBU

Develop your skills, advance professionally as an educator and prepare for leadership in today's education environment with the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership at SBU.

The doctor of education program at SBU is designed to prepare strong educational leaders. The program will equip you through a variety of educational experiences, including:

  • Discussions of current research and leadership practice;
  • Self-reflection;
  • Innovative technology and classroom applications;
  • Application of current situations in education; and
  • Other experiences deemed current and beneficial to the further development of education leaders.

The doctorate program employs a cohort model, which provides numerous benefits, from community support and group feedback to peer mentoring, networking and collaborative insights. You also will receive ongoing guidance and support from your advisor, who is assigned to you in your first semester and will facilitate your individual Directed Research project.

Throughout the program, you will advance your depth of knowledge on educational and servant leadership. The doctor of education degree helps you learn processes and gain knowledge to create a positive culture, increase organizational and student performance, and enable the development of a highly successful learning organization.

Program Tracks

Four program tracks have been created to tailor the program to your career goals and previous educational experience.

  • Track One: Core Classes (everyone completes this track)
  • Track Two: Additional leveling courses for candidates holding an M.S. in Educational Administration; this track allows you to complete the required Specialist courses a year prior to participation in the Ed.D. courses
  • Track Three: Additional courses for students with a master's degree in an education-related field interested in building administrator certification
  • Track Four: Additional courses for students with a master's degree in an education-related field but not interested in receiving administrative certification


Graduate Education Admissions

Sample Course Plan


Earn your doctorate degree quicker — SBU's Ed.D. program requires just 30 credit hours!

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

  • Fit classes into your busy schedule through our convenient scheduling combined with some hybrid sessions, scheduled with the time-constrained demands of the working educator in mind.
  • Receive one-on-one guidance from a faculty member who works with each doctoral student on their research and statistics work.
  • Benefit from personalized dissertation support. You are not on your own to complete your dissertation but will have the support of a dissertation committee.

Faith Integration

SBU's Education graduate degree programs have been intentionally designed to model how the Christian faith shapes expertise, practice and experiences in professional educational settings. To assist students in developing as transformative agents in today's schools, our programs provide a foundation to become both scholars and practitioners — a synthesis of academic knowledge, practical skills and servant leadership. We desire that our students, while working toward a graduate degree in education, become true servant leaders who are able to integrate their faith into their practice to make a difference in today's society.

Crystal Magers
"I can't imagine being a principal without the learning I received at SBU. This program was a game-changer for me. I received learning that helped me improve my leadership and impact student achievement."
Dr. Crystal Magers '19
Principal at Sherwood Elementary School, Springfield, Mo.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Course Plans

Track 1

All candidates will take the Track One Core Courses. Candidates holding the Educational Specialist degree will only need to complete these courses. Candidates interested in School Administration/Superintendency or School Administration certification will need to work with their advisor to make sure they have the coursework necessary; some extra courses may be required.

First Semester

EAD 8023 Educational Advocacy 3
EAD 8033 Advanced Research 3
Total hours 6

Third Semester

EAD 8053 Ethics in Personal & Professional Life 3
EAD 8013 Leadership in Learning 3
Total hours 6

Fifth Semester

EAD 8011 Education Symposium 1
  Written Comprehensive Exam 0
EAD 8073 Directed Research 3
Total hours 4


Second Semester

EAD 8043 Advanced Statistics and Instrument Design 3
EAD 8003 Leadership and the Law 3
Total hours 6

Fourth Semester

EAD 8001 Symposium Planning and Development 1
EAD 8002 Non-Profit Financial Management 2
EAD 8012 Organization Consulting Practice 2
Total hours 5

Sixth Semester

EAD 8073 Directed Research* 3+
Total hours 3+
 *The dissertation process is a journey that typically requires several hours of dissertation credit to complete. Continuous enrollment in directed research is required until the dissertation is finished.

Track 2

Candidates holding the M.S. in Educational Administration with initial certification as a building level administrator may choose to apply for the Ed.D. Leveling Program. This opportunity allows students to complete required Specialist courses a year prior to actual participation in the Ed.D. courses (these courses are charged at the Specialist tuition rate). The following Track 2 Leveling courses are required:

EAD 7003 School District Administration 3
EAD 7013 Personnel Administration 3
EAD 7023 Advanced School Finance 3
EAD 7033 School Planning and Maintenance 3
EAD 7043 Research and Statistics 3
EAD 7072 Internship in Superintendency 2
EAD 7123 The Superintendency 3
Total hours 20

Track 3

Students without a Master’s degree in an education-related field and interested in building administrator certification must complete the following coursework prior to being considered for the Track Two Leveling Program.

  A Master’s level research course  
EDU 5083 Educational Research 3
EAD 6002 Foundations of Educational Administration 2
EAD 6014 School Curriculum 4
EAD 6024 School Administration 4
EAD 6053 School Supervision 3
EAD 6093 Administration of Special Programs 3
EAD 6062 Internship I 2
EAD 6071 Internship II 1


Track 4

This track is for students who have a master's degree in an education-related field, but are not interested in receiving administrative certification. These students receive coursework focused more on curriculum and instruction with a leadership emphasis.

EDU 7206 Aligned Learning Environments 6
EDU 7253 Comparative Global Curriculum 3
EDU 7243 Technology Integration 3
EDU 7233 Instructional Leadership: Coaching, Mentoring, Consulting, Evaluating 3
EDU 7223 Preparation for College and Career Readiness 3
EAD 7043 Research and Statistics 3

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog for your final degree requirements and consult with your advisor to develop an official plan of study. Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation. You are responsible for understanding and completing all degree, departmental and graduation requirements.