Doctor of Education

Research Doctoral Studies

Doctor of Education

Expand your biblical understanding and thinking concerning Christian education.

Designed to equip the graduate with scholarship, educational, and leadership competencies.

Degree Highlights

  • Complete in 36 months
  • 60 hours

The Doctor of Education program (EdD) is a 36-month degree designed to equip the graduate with scholarship, educational, and leadership competencies. The graduate will be prepared to serve in leadership and teaching positions in higher education contexts, as well as in educational ministries of the church and in non-profit organizations. The EdD uniquely equips scholar-practitioners who influence their organizations as they become published writers, excellent teachers, thought-leaders, and problem solvers.

Students in the EdD program will demonstrate a theological and applied mastery of educational and leadership disciplines, demonstrate the capacity to effectively teach, lead, and conduct scholarly research, and apply problem-solving and strategic planning approaches to educational and leadership concerns. Students enrolled in the program follow the current EdD Handbook, which is also provided by the Research Doctoral Studies Office.


Meet the Faculty

Specialized Concentrations

Each student will select one specialized concentration from the three listed below for more in-depth study:

Higher Education Administration

  • Organizational Administration and Governance in Higher Education
  • Student Services Administration in Higher Education

Organizational Leadership

  • Leadership and Management Theory
  • Team Dynamics: Theory and Practice

Teaching and Educational Ministry

  • Curriculum Design for Educational Ministry
  • Christian Formation and Human Development

Meet the Director


Joshua Rose

Dr. Rose teaches in the areas of foundations of education, teaching, and discipleship. Completing his dissertation in 2017 focused on the impact of length of time in small groups on faith maturity in the local church, Dr. Rose specializes in small groups ministry and has taught and written courses for multiple institutions on small groups ministry.

Dr. Rose is a frequent small group ministry consultant, podcast guest, conference and workshop speaker in the areas of discipleship, small groups ministry, educational philosophy, curriculum theory and design, pedagogy, and history of Christian Education. He has contributed to The Educational Ministry of a Church; as well, he has written multiple articles published in the Christian Education Journal addressing current small group ministry issues as well as the history of small groups. Dr. Rose is an active member of Society of Professors in Christian Education and the Small Group Network.

In addition to his academic involvement, Dr. Rose serves as Group Life Pastor at Rush Creek Church, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As Group Life Pastor he provides strategic leadership and oversight to Rush Creek’s Adult Ministries across six campuses.

Program Structure

The EdD is a fast-paced 36-month program requiring a total of four weeks of on-campus participation throughout the program. These weeks will consist of two seminars (Monday–Wednesday and Thursday–Saturday), along with chapel worship and a doctoral community luncheon. Students will begin seminar preparation in April and October of each semester when they receive their syllabi. The student will engage in synchronous online reading discussions, online forums, and cohort-based Christian formation experiences. The student will complete foundational assignments including readings and paper development in preparation for the on-campus seminars.

Students will begin seminar preparation in September and March of each semester. During the on-campus seminar, the student will enjoy professor-led instruction and discussions, peer paper presentations, and guest lectures. Following the one week on campus, the student will complete advanced assignments related either to the seminar topic or to dissertation research. These on-campus seminars will occur during the student’s first four semesters in the program. The last semester is reserved for the student’s final research and writing phase.


Semester 1Graduate Research and Writing2
Semester 1Empirical Foundations for Education and Leadership Research6
Semester 1Theological, Philosophical, and Historical Foundations for Education6
Semester 2Specialized Concentration Seminar I6
Semester 2Theological Foundations for Leadership6
Semester 3Organizational Culture and Development6
Semester 3Teaching and Learning: Theory and Practice6
Semester 4Specialized Concentration Seminar II6
Semester 4Mentorship and Guided Research6
Semester 5Dissertation Research and Writing6
Semester 5Dissertation Defense4

60 hours

Comprehensive Examinations

Students will be required to pass comprehensive examinations as a part of their course of study prior to proceeding into the final writing phase of the program.


The EdD dissertation must constitute a significant contribution to scholarship in its field. It should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to design a viable research project, pursue the research in relative independence, and write with clarity and force. The student is permitted to select either the text-based or empirical-research approach for the dissertation based in consultation with the student’s supervisor. The dissertation length will span 30,000–45,000 words, not including front and back matter.

Prerequisites for Admission

Applicants must minimally hold a Master of Arts degree in their intended area of study from a regionally accredited college, university, or seminary. When possible, the school will offer opportunities for otherwise-qualified applicants who do not have the required prerequisite degree equivalency through additional studies. This option is available solely at the discretion of the EdD Director in conjunction with the school Dean and the Registrar to determine the necessary coursework.

Beginning with the 2025 Cohort, all students who apply for entrance into the EdD program must take EDMIN 4383 Research and Statistics for Advanced Studies or the equivalent from another institution, with a grade of B or higher either prior to admission or within their first year.

Applicants must have 12 hours of biblical and theological studies consisting of 3 hours each of Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, and Hermeneutics.

A minimum grade point average of 3.3 or higher in graduate studies is required.

Yearly Matriculation Timeline



Preliminary Step

Academic year prior to the intended beginning of studies

Applicant gathers application materials including:
Test Scores, Writing Sample, Church Endorsement Form, Current Curriculum Vitae.

Application Deadline

January 31

Applicants must submit to the Admissions Office: application, official transcripts, church endorsement form, GRE or MAT scores or request an entrance exam, TOEFL or DET (if applicable), and writing sample.

Faculty Interviews

As needed

If necessary, applicants interview with EdD faculty either on campus
or via video.

Decision Letters Scent

Upon completion of review but no later than February 15

RDS Office issues decision letters to applicants upon completion of review.

Got Questions?

We’re here to answer them. Reach out to our Admissions Team and we’ll be in touch by phone, text, or email.