the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Program Distinctives & Overview

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a 60-hour degree that has been carefully designed to develop skills in scholarship, service, and problem-solving in the context of coordinated learning communities. This design has been structured around a “signature pedagogy” that sets the Ed.D. apart from other doctoral degrees at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Distinctive features of the Ed.D. include:

Coordinated Learning Communities

Students enrolled in the Ed.D. program will participate in seminars of twelve or so students who remain together throughout their seminars. During the on-campus seminars, these students participate together not only in the seminars but also in meals and action research experiences. In addition, each student becomes part of a research team or “pod.” Each research team includes three or four students who will focus their studies and their theses on a single, selected topic. A faculty mentor and a field practitioner with expertise in the chosen topic oversee each research team, working closely to develop students as theologically-grounded stewards of educational practice.

Modular Format

The Doctor of Education degree is designed so that you are not required to relocate to Louisville, moving your family or leaving your ministry position. Prior to each seminar, students will complete pre-seminar work that includes reading and online discussions. While on campus for seminars, students will both participate in day-long seminars with Southern Seminary faculty as well as meal times with research teams, faculty members, and others to conduct research, further discussions, and discuss thesis development.

This format combines all the academic excellence you expect from a Southern Seminary doctoral degree, where world-class faculty lead seminars and mentor students through the degree. At the same time, it allows you to work side-by-side with the same students in all your courses, building lifelong friendships and community, all the while continuing to serve in your current ministry position allowing you the opportunity to integrate what you learn into how you minister.

Completion in 30 Months

The Ed.D. is designed so that students can complete the entire degree in thirty months. Two weeks of on-campus study are required each year, the last full week of July and the second full week of January. In addition to an orientation seminar and a thesis defense, this means students may complete the entire degree making only six trips to Louisville.

Specialized Collaborative Research

At the beginning of the Ed.D., each student will be assigned a mentor and a research topic. The student will also become part of a team of individuals studying the same topic under the same mentor. Under the supervision of his or her mentor, the student will develop a research question that will form the foundation for his or her thesis. In selected seminars throughout the program, students will draft chapters in preparation for the completion of this thesis. The theses developed within each research team will build on one another. Together, these interlocking theses will provide a solution to some particular problem or will demonstrate the validity of a particular approach to an education- or leadership-related issue.

Such an approach to research produces a thesis that is both remarkably unique and helpful as each individual student’s thesis stands together with his or her colleagues’ work, allowing a given topic to be examined in a multifaceted way


It is anticipated that the combined theses from each research group will be published by an academic press with the group’s faculty mentor serving as editor.

Description of Program

Your master’s degree provided you with the knowledge that you needed then. But now it’s time to take the next step as a leader.

You want a doctorate that’s practical yet theologically-grounded.

You want training from people who are leaders in their fields.

You want a degree that’s respected worldwide–a degree that will equip you to serve wherever God calls you, whether that’s a church, a college, a seminary, or a Christian school.

If that’s the passion that God has placed in your heart, we invite you to take a careful look at the Southern Seminary Doctor of Education degree. The purpose of the Southern Seminary Doctor of Education is to equip men and women to serve as leaders in church-affiliated educational institutions and in the educational ministries of the church.

This cutting-edge degree develops students into


  • servant-leaders whose leadership skills are shaped by the character of Christ.
  • practitioner-scholars who are experts in their fields of study.
  • problem-solvers who know how to apply the gospel to people’s deepest needs.

This degree is


You won’t need to relocate to Louisville! In fact, the program requires only six trips to Louisville, with less than one week required on-campus each time you come. You will complete the entire degree, including your thesis, in only 30 months.


The total tuition for this degree is $16,920 for Southern Baptist students, $28,275 for non-Southern Baptist students.


Every component of the degree has been carefully designed to develop skills in scholarship, service, and problem-solving in the context of coordinated learning communities. This design has been structured around a “signature pedagogy” that sets the Southern Seminary Ed.D. apart from any other degree.

If you are ready to take the next step as a leader, contact the Southern Seminary Admissions Office and ask about the Ed.D.: (800) 626-5525 ext. 4617, or,

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.