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Higher Education

Doctor of Education

Our Doctor of Education in Leadership in Higher Education is about imagining new ways of responding to current problems as well as future challenges. You’ll develop faith-informed, relational leadership that sets the tone for a thriving future for today’s colleges and universities.


Online with Intensives

You'll complete coursework online, with 1 week of on-campus intensives each year.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Courses start every 8 weeks. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

3 years (plus dissertation)


  • Historical, Cultural, and Philosophical Issues Impacting Educational Leadership (EDUC801)

    Historical, cultural, and philosophical roots and trends contributing to higher education educational practices. Current and emerging roles of educational leaders in light of these roots and trends. Practices of self-differentiation and reflection essential to processes of personal formation and ability to inspire and lead positive change in our diverse world. Current prevailing cultural and philosophical drivers in students educational settings.

    3 credits

  • Organizational Leadership in Higher Education (EDUC807)

    Analysis of theories related to higher education leadership, organization, and culture, and associated application to decision making, organizational change and conflict management. Connection of organizational theories and cultural concepts with effective approaches to leadership that includes integration of faith and values into developing personal leadership capabilities.

    3 credits

  • Curriculum Design and Instructional Management in Higher Education (EDUC812)

    Students analyze the fundamentals of effective curriculum design and implementation, as well as trends, issues, forces, and ideas affecting higher education. Theories of learning as they affect the performance of both undergraduate and graduate-level students are synthesized, and appropriate models for providing professional development for academic departments are investigated.

    3 credits

  • Comparative Analysis of Issues in Higher Education (EDUC818)

    Examination of the forces that affect higher education globally. Analysis of the global issues relevant to various aspects of higher education. Description of the historical roots of higher education globally. Application of a critical lens to debates in higher education. Evaluation of higher education across cultural and national contexts.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research I (EDUC820)

    Introduction to the philosophical foundations of empirical research with an emphasis on qualitative research design and methodology. Basic principles and philosophy of naturalistic (field) inquiry methods are introduced. Research design, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative methods are explored. Critique and analysis of qualitative research in the literature is a primary learning activity.

    3 credits

  • Leading in a Complex and Pluralistic Society (EDUC827)

    Exploration of the dynamics of engaging differences, including cultural, ethnic, religious, gender, ability, and age differences. Focus on providing effective leadership in pluralistic systems, including creating a hospitable organizational environment and maintaining relationships with diverse partners and stakeholders.Analysis of one's assumptions, beliefs, behaviors, and capacities with regard to differences.

    3 credits

  • Leadership of Academic & Support Systems in Higher Education (EDUC832)

    Students analyze leadership within academic and support departments in colleges and universities. Topics include college student development, human resource departments, communication and marketing, security and safety, scheduling, alumni services, accreditation, and admissions. Students integrate their personal values and belief system with identified best practices in affirming their personal style of serving as inspirational leaders.

    3 credits

  • Institutional Assessment in Higher Education (EDUC837)

    Examination of institutional assessment practices in higher education settings. The course focuses on having students engage in activities that are similar to what Assessment Directors in Higher Education do in their work. Topics include creating effective outcomes, developing ways to authentically measure outcomes, and writing clear assessment reports.

    3 credits

  • Strategic Leadership in Higher Education (EDUC842)

    Comprehension of strategic and adaptive leadership practices and application to organizational challenges. Analysis of personal strategic leadership strengths and limitations. Identification of how leadership can improve diversity, inclusion, and equity in institutional settings. Analysis of behaviors and traits for strategic innovation. Identification of how faith/values impact leadership philosophy.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research II (EDUC845)

    Development of empirical research with an emphasis on quantitative research. Basic principles and philosophy of post-positivist worldview are examined. Research design, analysis, and interpretation of quantitative methods are explored. Critique and analysis of quantitative research in the literature is a primary learning activity. CITI ethics training modules are completed.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research III (EDUC850)

    Exploration and examination of qualitative and quantitative research; particularly sampling, measurement, data collection and data analysis. Training in the use of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis software. Development of the dissertation prospectus is the key learning activity.

    3 credits

  • Re-imagining Higher Education (EDUC858)

    Consider the future of higher education and the leadership needed. Issues and trends in the current and emerging field higher education, including equity and access, finances and affordability, and competing models and non-traditional offerings, are revisited and intersected with personal growth and leadership formation.

    3 credits

  • Legal Issues in Higher Education (EDUC862)

    Students focus on the legal foundation, framework, and issues relevant to higher education institutions. Students critique and interpret the legal and regulatory basis for relationships among educational institutions and external stakeholders. Students analyze the processes of dealing with the legal issues and risks faced by academic institutions and leaders.

    3 credits

  • Resource Management and Development in Higher Education (EDUC867)

    Students learn about higher education resources in the context of the North American economic climate. They examine revenue, expenses and budgeting practices that are common at postsecondary institutions. They explore factors that have historically driven costs and learn methods to grow and shrink budgets effectively at postsecondary institutions.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research IV (EDUC870)

    Development of data collection, data analysis and presenting results in research. Design a data collection tool or protocol, collect data with the tool (field test) and analyze collected data. Complete the dissertation prospectus.

    3 credits

  • Comprehensive Examination and Portfolio Review (EDUC881)

    Comprehensive examination and the portfolio review after completion of the student's final didactic course.

    1 credits

  • Individualized Project in Higher Education (EDUC885)

    Students design and complete a practical application project that integrates concepts and insights from courses, research, and personal experiences.

    3 credits

  • Dissertation Phase One (EDUC890)

    Major research project developed over the duration of the program. Standard doctoral-level academic measurement, statistical, analytical, interpretive, documenting, and writing techniques are required. The courses in qualitative research, quantitative research, and measurement and assessment provide philosophy, theory, and skills support for this component. Topics developed with dissertation advisor, who will advise during development dissertation and will chair dissertation committee.

    6 credits

  • Dissertation Phase Two (EDUC891)

    A continuation of EDUC890. Students are automatically registered for this course during the term following EDUC890. Successful defense of the dissertation is required prior to graduation. This course must be completed within seven consecutive years (21 consecutive academic terms) from the beginning of the course.

    6 credits

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