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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 1-2 week on-campus intensives each year.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Summer 2017

*We have opportunities to start throughout the year. Please contact your Enrollment Counselor for more information.

Total Credits


Approximate Program Length

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)

    Theory and practice of leadership in higher education settings. Leading organizational leadership theories, educational cultures, leadership communication, emphasis on implementation in practical educational settings. Incorporation of a faith-informed worldview with these theories and practices. Philosophical and values anchors, vision casting, shared priorities and commitments, and implementation of vision through policy and program development.

    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)

    This course begins the four course series in research methods. Students are introduced to the philosophical foundations of qualitative research design and methodology. Students complete an overview of the design, analysis and interpretation of qualitative methods. Basic principles and philosophy of naturalistic (field) inquiry methods are introduced. Students critique and analyze qualitative research in the literature culminating in the development of the research problem.

    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

  • Leadership and Strategic Planning in Higher Education (EDUC842)

    Integration of mission, vision, planning, and budgeting in order to strategically frame leadership challenges in higher education contexts. Exploration of healthy institutional development through effective leadership in areas of personnel, communications, and relationships with relevant constituencies. Reflection on personal vision in areas such as accountability, motivation, and team building.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research II (EDUC845)

    This is the second in the series of four research methods courses in the Ed.D. Program. The focus is on quantitative research. The other major focus is on ethics in research culminating in the requirement of students to complete the CITI training modules. Students continue to build their dissertation prospectus.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research III (EDUC850)

    This is the third in the series of four research methods courses in the Ed.D. Program. The focus is on both qualitative and quantitative research focusing on sampling, measurement, data collection and analysis. Students continue to build their dissertation prospectus.

    3 credits

  • Leaders as Agents of Change in Higher Education (EDUC857)

    Immersion into educational change and problem-solving process in higher education. Need for change, visionary leadership capacity and skills for designing, leading, and sustaining meaningful ongoing educational change. Current changes and trends, their impact on education, leaders in change. Change literature. Complex change initiatives in students own context/setting. Philosophies and strategies for implementing significant change. \

    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)

    This is the final course in the series of four research methods courses in the Ed.D. Program. The focus is on data collection, data analysis and presenting results in research. Students design a data collection tool or protocol, collect data with the tool (field test) and analyze collected data. Students complete their dissertation prospectus.

    3 credits

  • Comprehensive Examination (EDUC880)

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

    0 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


Explore Our Partnership and Certificate Programs

We have partnered with colleges and universities to expand program options in our Ed.D. in Leadership in Higher Education program and to offer a University Partnership Scholarship. Learn more about these opportunities and our Emerging Leaders in Private Colleges Certificate in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Jandris Center for Innovative Education.

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