Doctor of Education - Ed.D. Seminary Program


The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a 60-hour, cohort-based 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.


The Ed.D. at Southern Seminary is designed to be completed in 30 months.



Distinctive Features

Modular Format

  • The degree program is designed so that students are not required to relocate to Louisville.
  • Each semester, students will complete pre-seminar work that includes reading and online discussions.
  • While on campus, students participate in day-long seminars with faculty and dine with research teams, faculty members, and others to conduct research, further discussions, and discuss thesis development.

Completion in 30 Months

  • The Ed.D. is designed to let students complete the entire degree in 30 months.
  • Only two weeks of on-campus study are required each year, the second full week of July and the second full week of January.
  • With the orientation seminar and a thesis defense, students may complete the entire degree making only five trips to Louisville.

Coordinated Learning Communities

  • Students enrolled in the Ed.D. program will participate in seminars with twelve or so students who remain together throughout their seminars.
  • Additionally, each student becomes part of a research team or “pod.” Each pod includes three or four students who focus their studies and 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.

Specialized Collaborative Research

  • At the beginning of the Ed.D., each student will be assigned to a team studying a research topic under the same mentor. Students will develop a research question to form the foundation for his or her thesis.
  • In selected seminars throughout the program, students will draft chapters of this thesis. The research team’s theses will build on one another to provide a solution to some particular problem or demonstrate the validity of a particular approach to an education- or leadership-related issue.
  • 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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a mastery of the educational disciplines rooted in a graduate-level understanding of the theological disciplines.
  • Students will demonstrate the capacity to serve the church, the academy, and the world through leadership and teaching.
  • Students will apply educational research to solve complex social and organizational problems.


All seminars meet in modular format in the summer (July) and winter (January) terms.

81020 Graduate Research Seminar 2
8 Seminars

  • 92000 Theological Foundations for Educational Research
  • 92010 Empirical Foundations for Educational Research
  • 92020 Methodological Foundations for Educational Research
  • 92030 Theological Foundations for Leadership
  • 92040 Social and Organizational Change
  • 92050 Human Development and Spiritual Formation
  • 92060 Critical Reflection and Research Evaluation
  • 92070 Mentorship and Guided Research
92080 Thesis Research and Writing 6
92090 Thesis Defense 4
Total Program Requirements 60 hours

Admissions Requirements


  • A regionally-accredited master’s degree totaling at least 48 hours, with at least 12 hours in biblical or theological studies and at least 12 hours in leadership, administration, education, or ministry studies
  • Students having earned a master’s degree but lacking required hours may complete the additional hours through online or on-campus study at SBTS*
  • A master’s-level cumulative GPA of 3.3 or above

*To request an equivalency review on your master’s-level work, please submit a Doctoral Equivalency Report. Students who have earned a master’s degree but lack required hours may fulfill them through online or on-campus study at SBTS.

Entrance Exams & Interview Dates

First Friday in March for summer matriculation

Start Your Application

Click here to begin your online application. Our admissions team will assist you with submitting the necessary materials to the online portal.

Below is a link to a list of precedent literature with which applicants should familiarize themselves. During their first year in the program, students must submit abstracts for each of the included texts.

**For more information about the required materials for an Ed.D. application, please visit this page.

Program Fees

The program fee is paid in a $1,000 down payment with the remaining balance due equally over 30 months.*

Initial Down Payment $1,000
Program Fee — SBC Student $20,363
Program Fee — Non-SBC Student $34,005
Continuation Fee (paid per semester after 30 months) $2,000


*Program Tuition shown is for the 2022-23 Academic Year. Additional fees are subject to the current catalog. Please see the current catalog for full listing of current fees.

Next Steps

Next Steps

Train as a scholar practitioner

Schedule a Doctoral Campus Visit

Visiting Southern will give you an opportunity to explore our beautiful campus and to get all of your important questions answered.


Attend Preview Day

Southern Seminary hosts a Preview Day each Spring and Fall – attendees are automatically entered to win a $1000 scholarship.


Request Information

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