Question: Are there any schools that offer faith-based Doctor of Education (EdD) programs online?

Updated: April 10, 2024

Answer: Yes, a wide range of religiously affiliated colleges and universities offer Doctor of Education programs online, both in specializations related to religious studies and more standard degree concentrations. While the majority are Christian schools of various denominations (e.g., Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist), there is also one Jewish college with an EdD students can pursue online with minimal on-campus requirements. Programs at these institutions generally combine traditional EdD coursework with a certain amount of faith-based study, whether that is full courses dedicated to religious practice or an overall curriculum built upon religious values.

Christian schools such as Grand Canyon University, Concordia University, Bethel University, College of Saint Mary, Abilene Christian University, Liberty University, and more, as well as the Jewish institution Gratz College in Pennsylvania, all have online EdD programs available for students interested in receiving a faith-based education. At these schools, there are even several programs dedicated specifically to religious education or leadership, such as the online Doctorate of Education in Leadership with a concentration in Jewish Education from Gratz, or Liberty University’s online Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership with an emphasis on Ministry Leadership.

To learn more about the different religious institutions that offer EdD programs online, as well as available concentrations in faith-based leadership or education, continue reading below.

Religious Schools with Online EdD Programs

Students have a number of options to choose from when it comes to pursuing an EdD online from a faith-based college or university. While most of these schools are affiliated with Christianity in some form, as mentioned above, there is one Jewish institution that offers an online EdD program in several degree concentrations.

Below is a list of faith-based schools in the United States with EdD programs students can pursue online, along with their particular religious affiliation:

  • Abilene Christian University – Churches of Christ
  • Alverno College – Roman Catholic
  • Baylor University – Baptist
  • Bethel University – Baptist
  • Carson-Newman University – Baptist
  • Clark Atlanta University – Methodist
  • College of Saint Mary – Catholic
  • College of St. Scholastica – Catholic, Benedictine
  • Concordia University-Chicago – Lutheran
  • Concordia University-Saint Paul – Lutheran
  • Concordia University Wisconsin – Lutheran
  • Creighton University – Jesuit
  • D’Youville College – Roman Catholic
  • George Fox University – Christian
  • Grand Canyon University – Christian
  • Gratz College – Judaism
  • Houston Baptist University – Baptist
  • Liberty University – Baptist
  • Lipscomb University – Churches of Christ
  • Loyola Marymount University – Catholic
  • Marymount University – Catholic
  • Molloy University – Catholic
  • Nebraska Methodist College – Methodist
  • Northwest Nazarene University – Church of the Nazarene
  • Regent University – Christian
  • Rivier University – Catholic
  • Rockhurst University – Jesuit
  • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – Lasallian Catholic
  • Southeastern University – Assemblies of God
  • Southern Nazarene University – Church of the Nazarene
  • Southern Wesleyan University – Wesleyan Church
  • Spalding University – Roman Catholic
  • St. Thomas University – Catholic
  • Trevecca Nazarene University – Church of the Nazarene
  • Union University – Baptist
  • University of Dayton – Catholic, Marianist
  • University of Findlay – Christian
  • University of Mary – Catholic, Benedictine
  • Viterbo University – Catholic

In most cases, these schools offer fairly standard EdD programs, with specializations and curricula students might find at any institution. However, students pursuing their degree at one of these faith-based institutions can generally expect the instruction or coursework to include some emphasis on faith or religious practices, particularly as they relate to the program’s area of focus.

For example, Concordia University – Chicago, a Lutheran school, offers EdDs online in a wide range of specializations, from Early Childhood or Special Education to Sports Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Education Technology. While their programs do not include explicit courses focused on religion, Concordia states that students are required to “reflect on their beliefs and practices” throughout their studies, developing “competency and servant leadership within the context of integrity and Christian values.”

Faith-Based Online EdD Programs

There are also several schools that offer online EdD programs specifically focused on leadership or education in religious contexts. Regent University in Virginia, for example, has a Doctor of Education with a concentration in Christian Education Leadership students can pursue online. Curriculum in the program combines coursework in areas such as data-driven decision making, advanced research design, staff development, and financial management, with more faith-based courses such as Christian Worldview for Educators, Kingdom Education, Christian Education-Philosophy, Starting and Operating Christian Schools, and Student Discipleship in Christian Education.

Also based in Virginia, Liberty University offers an online Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership with an emphasis on Ministry Leadership through its Rawlings School of Divinity. The program is designed to equip students with the management skills and biblical foundation they need to effectively lead in the church or other ministry organizations. Similarly, Grand Canyon University in Arizona has an online Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program with an optional concentration in Christian Ministry. Students in this degree track take a variety of courses related to leading others in the delivery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, studying such topics as Theology of Leadership, Ethical Dilemmas and Stewardship, Christian Ministry and Culture, Practical Considerations in Christian Ministry, Leading Across Cultures, and Disciple Making in the Leadership Context.

Finally, Gratz College offers a Doctorate of Education in Leadership online with three concentrations to choose from, including one in Jewish Education. Along with required core courses in areas such as Leading an Educational Organization, Strategic Planning for Educational Leadership, Needs Assessment, and Methods of Inquiry, students in the Jewish Education track complete an additional seven-course curriculum consisting of the following classes: Leadership in Jewish Education; History and Philosophy of Jewish Education; Landscape of Jewish Education in North America; Program Development, Curriculum, and Assessment; Ethical and Legal Issues in Jewish Education; Current Trends in Jewish Education; and Planning, Budgeting, and Finance in Schools.