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online or on campus graduate

Doctor of Education in Leadership

The Doctor of Education in leadership (Ed.D.) degree gives students skills and knowledge to be successful change agents in a variety of roles and fields. Students can tailor their degree by choosing from specialized tracks that include higher education, consulting and coaching, enterprise leading and managing, healthcare administration, interdisciplinary studies, leadership in the age of artificial intelligence, organizational intelligence, pre-K-12 district leadership and professional practice.

Upcoming Start Dates:

Jun. 5, 2024
Sep. 11, 2024
Feb. 5, 2025
Jun. 4, 2025

National Recognition

Trevecca’s Ed.D. is earning elite accolades from respected sources nationwide, including these recent rankings:

  • #1 most affordable doctorate in education (Fortune)
  • #3 online doctorate in education (Fortune)
  • One of the nation’s best online Doctor of Education programs (Princeton Review)

Students in Trevecca’s Doctor of Education in leadership program choose one of these specialized tracks to tailor their degree:

  • Higher Education (100 percent online): Designed for those interested in becoming a college professor or administrator, this track covers academic literature and research on the most effective undergraduate and graduate-level teaching and higher education practices. 
  • Consulting and Coaching (100 percent online): Structured to equip graduates to help others realize and reach their maximum potential, this track prepares students to analyze needs, design learning pathways and facilitate clients’ self-improvement and success.
  • Enterprise Leading and Managing (100 percent online): Focused on developing executive-level leaders who work in complex entrepreneurial settings, this track examines recent academic literature and research on strategic leadership and teaches practical steps for system optimization.
  • Healthcare Administration (100 percent online): This track prepares graduates for leadership and service in healthcare organizations at middle and senior management levels.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (100 percent online): This track allows students to transfer up to 12 doctoral-level credits from work at a previous institution.
  • Leadership in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (in person or 100 percent online): This track addresses the critical need for leaders to be well-versed in AI concepts, data analytics and change management. 
  • Organizational Intelligence (100 percent online): This track empowers graduates with strategy-level thinking that drives stakeholder efforts and decision-making by identifying how the different pieces of the organization fit together and how the organization works with the rest of the community, market, customers and stakeholders.
  • Pre-K-12 District Leadership (in person or 100 percent online): This track equips graduates with the planning and leadership skills to influence optimization and improvement among a district’s students, schools, professionals and communities.
  • Professional Practice (in person or 100 percent online): This track was specifically created to help graduates develop an understanding of how cultural influences, ethics, and strategic policies and planning influence the ability to lead in any workplace.

Program Benefits

  • Complete your Ed.D. fully online with no residency requirements with any track.
  • Or choose to earn your Ed.D. in-person with the pre-K-12 district leadership or professional practice track. With this option, you’ll attend class at our Nashville campus only one Saturday per month.
  • Benefit from front-door delivery of all your materials.
  • Complete your program with a supportive cohort of students who are working toward similar goals.
  • Enjoy the collaborative learning environments fostered by our small class sizes.
  • Learn from faculty who possess the highest degrees in their fields and have relevant and valuable real-world experience.

What to Expect

As a student in Trevecca’s Doctor of Education in leadership program, you’ll garner skills and knowledge in exceptional leadership so you can make a difference wherever your passions and career take you. Our research-based curriculum moves you from theory to practice as you learn how to create effective organizations; plan for strategic improvement; use the latest tools and technologies; build diverse and collaborative teams; understand the value of intrapersonal effectiveness; and more. 

You can work on your dissertation in conjunction with your coursework, researching a topic that pertains to your passions and career and finishing your degree with practical solutions in hand. If you choose one of our face-to-face learning tracks, you’ll meet for class one Saturday per month and take part in two 3-day summer residencies each summer you are enrolled.

Why Choose Trevecca?

Founded in 1901 and a leader in online education for more than two decades, Trevecca helps students discover and pursue an individual calling by providing innovative instruction; cultivating a supportive, Christ-centered community; and establishing relationships that open doors.

2024 #2 Online College in Tennessee, intelligent.comRecognized nationally and locally for academic quality, Trevecca has earned a reputation for providing the world with servant leaders, problem solvers and difference makers. Trevecca’s holistic approach to education encompasses intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth.

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.

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Financial Aid & Costs

Financial Aid & Costs

Nearly every student at Trevecca receives some form of assistance in paying for college. Learn all about the affordability of a TNU education and options for receiving aid.

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Here’s a look at the approximate tuition rates you could expect for this program at Trevecca, including the cost per credit hour and the total tuition expense for the full degree program. Please note that rates and fees are subject to change.

Here’s a look at the approximate tuition rates you could expect for this program at Trevecca, including the cost per credit hour and the total tuition expense for the full degree program. Please note that rates and fees are subject to change.

Cost/Credit Hour




Tuition Cost*


*$150 Student Resource Fee assessed per course. Books are included.

Led by faculty who also serve as highly credentialed experts throughout their respective fields, Trevecca’s Ed.D. takes a research-based, theory-into-practice approach to its curriculum, including the topics of:

  • Leadership (how to initiate transformational change and lead oneself, a team and organizations). 
  • Research (applied research, statistics, research-based technology).
  • Individualized Learning Track (Depending on your career goals, choose an area of focus—Higher Education; Consulting and Coaching; Enterprise Leading and Managing; Healthcare Administration; Organizational Intelligence; Pre-K-12 District Leadership; or Professional Practice). 

As part of your Ed.D. coursework, you’ll learn how to create effective organizations; ways to plan for strategic improvement; tools to build teamwork and foster collaboration; the value of intrapersonal effectiveness and more. Students will receive instruction on cultural influences to consider when building and leading a team in addition to the latest insight on research-based technology.

Dissertation Details

The applied research dissertation is a comprehensive study of a significant problem that is important to the student in his or her area of professional work. The dissertation allows the student the opportunity to research their proposed topic, demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the relevant literature, explain the research methods used to conduct the study, and present the research findings and conclusions.

The goal of an applied research dissertation is to provide important evidence for improving the workplace while also adding to the body of knowledge. Our four-chapter dissertation model represents the highest standards for terminal degrees.

Trevecca’s curriculum is unique in that students work on their dissertation in conjunction with their classes. Students are assigned a faculty advisor and reader to work with throughout the process. We provide guidance and encouragement while you are working on your dissertation so that when you complete your courses in as few as 27 months, your dissertation is also complete.

Our highly qualified team of faculty and staff are committed to your success as you complete this doctoral program. We are behind you every step of the way! Throughout the Ed.D. program, you’ll have your own support team. From academic advisors to dissertation advisors, Trevecca is committed to helping you finish your degree and your dissertation at the same time.

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We want to make earning your degree as easy as possible. That's why we offer two options for how you can complete the Ed.D. program—either face-to-face at our Nashville campus or 100 percent online.


Located in the heart of Nashville, our campus offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. Students enjoy small class sizes and personal relationships with faculty members who serve as both professors and mentors. If you enjoy face-to-face learning, you can join a campus cohort, which meets for class one Saturday per month with two 3-day residency requirements during each of the summers you are enrolled. Trevecca's cohort model is one of the reasons the school has become one of the fastest growing universities in Middle Tennessee in recent years. It’s a highly successful experience that allows students to begin and complete their degree alongside a group of other classmates working toward similar goals.

Learn more about our face-to-face program director.


We understand life is busy and you may not have time to attend class on campus. That's why we offer our programs 100 percent online. Whether you are a working adult, a stay-at-home parent, or simply live outside of Nashville, we make it easy to earn your degree while focusing on one class at a time, any time—24/7. Classes are taught online with books and materials are delivered to your front door. And when we say the degree is entirely online, we mean it. With the way our program is structured, you never have to step foot on campus!

With our online degree programs, you can expect the same level of quality and rigor that Trevecca has provided students since 1901. Our online students also benefit from a cohort model, where students begin and complete their degree alongside a group of other online classmates working toward similar goals.

Learn more about our online program director.

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  1. Complete the free online application
    Need help applying? Read the step-by-step instructions here!
  2. Fill out  FAFSA to be considered for financial aid (Trevecca’s school code: 003526).
  3. Request official transcripts from your previous graduate institution.
  4. Submit all additional materials to your dedicated enrollment counselor.


  1. A master's degree from an institution accredited by a CHEA-recognized regional accrediting agency or the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Students who do not meet these degree requirements may be conditionally accepted in accordance with the Conditional Admission Policy.
  2. A 3.4 cumulative GPA for all prior graduate coursework.
  3. Official transcript sent directly from graduate institution to Trevecca.
  4. Two recommendations submitted directly by your professional and/or academic references using our online form.
  5. Current resume  or curriculum vitae (CV)
  6. Writing sample, to be submitted to the program director (After all other application documents are submitted, a link will be sent to applicants where they can complete the writing assessment.)
  7. For students seeking an online degree, only: Introductory Video, to be submitted to the program director, selection committee members and Enrollment Counselor. (After submitting other application documents, an email with directions will be sent to the applicant).
  8. A photocopy of government-issued identification (e.g., driver's license, state ID, military ID, passport). This requirement ensures that Trevecca complies with the U.S. Department of Education expectations for student verification.
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Emerald Mitchell ’16 


Kevin Dyson ‘18

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Career Opportunities: Educational Leadership Doctorate

The Doctor of Education in leadership provides professionals with the tools they need to be successful agents of change and influence in a variety of industries. Our graduates currently serve in respected leadership roles in fields like these:

  • Business
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Ministry
  • Government
  • Law enforcement
  • Healthcare

“Studying at TNU has helped me to strengthen and confirm what I already knew about myself, while at the same time allowing me to discover new areas of personal development I was not aware of.”

Fernando Almeida Ed.D. graduate

Our Faculty

  • Portrait for James Agee, Ph.D.

    James Agee, Ph.D.


    James teaches management and statistics/research in a variety of programs across campus, including the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York (Albany) in 2000.  Outside of ...

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  • Portrait for George Anderson

    George Anderson

    Adjunct Faculty of Ed.D. Online

    George is an instructor in the organizational intelligence program. He has taught as an adjunct professor since 2012 in various Christian universities and academic areas including organizational intelligence and transformation, HR management, ...

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  • Portrait for Kristin Bledsoe

    Kristin Bledsoe

    Dean, School of Leadership & Interdisciplinary Studies, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies

    Kristin is a hardworking, passionate and dedicated associate director in the online Ed.D. program at TNU.  She is also an assistant professor, teaching in multiple programs, with a strong understanding of online learning, teaching and ...

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  • Portrait for Melinda Burch

    Melinda Burch

    Associate Professor

    After completing her undergraduate education at Trevecca, Mindy started her career as a middle school math teacher in Clarksville, TN and completed her master's degree at Austin Peay State University. After moving back to Nashville, she worked at ...

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  • Portrait for Sam Green

    Sam Green

    Director, Center for Worship

    Samuel is chair of the Department of Worship for the School of Music and Worship Arts. He also serves as the director of Undergraduate Research and the Quality Enhancement Plan at the University. He holds degrees from Tennessee State University ...

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  • Portrait for Ryan Longnecker

    Ryan Longnecker

    Associate Dean of Online Leadership Studies

    Ryan considers himself to be one of the luckiest people on campus because he works with some of the most amazing students Trevecca has to offer - the future leaders in Trevecca's Ed.D. in leadership program.  As program leader for the online ...

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  • Portrait for Chris Marczak

    Chris Marczak

    Adjunct Faculty of Ed.D. Online

    Chris is the Department of Defense's Education Activity (DoDEA) Pacific chief of instructional leadership, charged with providing professional learning for all superintendents, community superintendents, principals, assistant principals and ...

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  • Portrait for Tom Middendorf

    Tom Middendorf

    University Provost, Senior Vice President

    Tom is the provost and senior vice president. He also holds the rank of professor of leadership studies. He graduated from Trevecca and later earned a master’s degree in professional counseling in 2003 and an Ed.D. in ethical leadership in 2010 ...

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  • Portrait for Alice Patterson

    Alice Patterson

    Director, Ed.D. Program

    Alice is the director of Trevecca's on-site Ed.D. program and an associate professor of graduate education. Alice served on Trevecca’s Ed.D. development team and teaches courses at the doctoral levels. She holds a bachelor’s, master’s and ...

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  • Portrait for Priscilla Speer

    Priscilla Speer

    Assistant Professor | Online Learning Services Librarian

    Prilla has extensive experience working with students from traditional undergraduates to advanced doctoral students in all research needs online or in-person. With master's degrees in library science and instructional design, she is uniquely ...

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  • Portrait for Heidi Ventura

    Heidi Ventura

    Professor, Associate Dean of Academic Research and Innovation

    In her administrative faculty role, Heidi provides leadership for nontraditional undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and students. In her instructional faculty role, she holds faculty rank as associate professor, teaching doctoral ...

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  • Portrait for Jeffrey Wells

    Jeffrey Wells

    Professor, Communication Studies

    Jeffrey has taught communication and theatre at the collegiate level since 1991. He rejoined the Trevecca community in June of 2016 after serving as chair for the division of communication arts and director of theatre at Oklahoma Baptist ...

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  • Portrait for Robert Young

    Robert Young

    Adjunct Faculty of Ed.D. Online

    Formerly the senior advisor and chief strategist at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington D.C., Robert retired after 27 years of federal service in several leadership and program management roles with agencies, including the ...

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.*

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Cohort Schedule

View a sample schedule of the courses you will be taking when you enroll.

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Intrapersonal Leadership
EDD 8054
The first in a three-part series, this course examines the four levels of leadership: personal, interpersonal, managerial, and organizational. The focus of part one is to apply an evidence-based approach to examine the theories of individual motivation and behavior. Candidates analyze their personal character and competence as leaders, with the goal of maximizing their personal effectiveness. Candidates are encouraged to develop a habit of scientifically based practice of continual examination of their own effectiveness and use of their evidence-based learning to effect personal improvement.
Research-Based Technology
EDD 8603
Assists the student in learning the uses of technology that facilitate the completion of the doctoral dissertation. Elements may include word processing, library databases, spreadsheets, internet, project management software, web pages, and other appropriate applications. It is additionally used as a platform for the student to begin exploring the information available so as to begin a habit of seeking evidence-based data in the employment of scientifically based practice within the professional environment.
Research I: Foundations of Research
EDD 8601
Introduces the doctoral candidate to the principles of both qualitative and quantitative research and the paradigm of an evidence-based approach to academic research as well as consumer-based problem solving. Research design, ethics, data analysis, and techniques such as survey, issue and trend analysis, case study, historical research, pre- and post-testing, literature review, meta-analysis, psychographic methods, and quantitative data collection and statistical analysis are emphasized. This course establishes the candidate's basic understanding of academic research while fostering comfort with the utilization of scientifically-based practice to approach problem-solving needs within the professional environment.
Research II: Research Design and Measurements
EDD 8602
Extends the depth of study in research established in Scientifically Based Practice: Research I. An emphasis is placed on methodology, research design, statistical analysis, and data reporting. An efficient use of technology for all phases of the dissertation is employed by the candidate in the completion of this course.
Leadership 2: Collaborative Teamwork and Team Development
EDD 8055
Building on the foundation laid in EDD 8051, this course is an extension from study of individual behavior and effectiveness to analysis of group or team behavior and leadership effectiveness. A collaborative team-based learning culture is utilized to simulate real-life problems and team-building processes. Course topics include: leadership dimensions, team learning, development and management, diversity, and organizational analysis and development. An evidence-based foundation is employed to support student learning and exposure to best practices expressed by recognized leaders in team building concepts.
Applied Statistics
EDD 8604
Description: Designed to equip candidates to incorporate statistical analysis into educational research. The different types of data and the tests appropriate for each are discussed and practices. Successful completion of this course enables candidates to analyze their data gathered for dissertations and to draw definite conclusions from their data. Additionally, candidates in the evidence-based educational environment are equipped to review the methodology and data generated by scientifically based research and draw useful and reliable conclusions from that data.
Leading Transformational Change
EDD 8057
Examines the multiple facets associated with both andragogical and pedagogical change from the fundamental conceptualization of the design phase through the implementation phase. A meaningful learning experience is emphasized along with the capture of teachable moments and the culmination phase of evaluation and revision. The candidate is expected to use evidence-based practice to form the pillars of a learning experience, evaluation, and revision for improvement.
Leadership 3: Creating Effective Organizations
EDD 8056
The culmination of individual behavior/effectiveness and team behavior/effectiveness, this course provides the candidate with a comprehensive understanding of the way in which total organizational effectiveness is conceptualized, measured, and realized in practice. The course also explores the ways change associated with organizational improvement is effectively managed. It assists practitioners in understanding how quality improvement can be initialized, managed, and sustained at all levels within the organization to achieve total value-added improvement. An evidence-based foundation is employed through exposure to best practices and the concepts of recognized leaders in organizational leadership and improvement.
Applied Leadership
EDD 8058
Practicing leadership is providing vision and direction, modeling good exemplars, and doing what is needed for people in the organization to succeed. Leadership practice is also an art in knowing what to do and when to do it, why you do it, and how to do it. The purpose of this course is to explore best practices that have been identified to assist in the establishment of organizations. Strong leadership practices entail fostering continuous improvement and rethinking the connections in the relationships of stakeholders through the formation of problem-solving teams. The linkage among stakeholders is encouraged and emphasized as a result of evidence-based examination of best practices.
EDD 8211-8217

Choose a Track*

Consulting and Coaching
Enterprise Leadership
Healthcare Administration
Higher Education
Interdisciplinary Studies
Leadership in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Organizational Intelligence
PreK-12 District Leadership
Professional Practice Track

*For a complete list of courses, tracks and other relevant information, view the program's course catalog.
*Track availability is based on demand. Student will provide multiple track choices in order of preference and will be placed in their highest preferred available track.

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