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, health care administration, pre-K-12 district leadership and professional practice.

Students in Trevecca’s Doctor of Education in leadership program choose one of six 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.
  • Health Care Administration (100 percent online): This track prepares graduates for leadership and service in health care organizations at middle and senior management levels.
  • 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 all six tracks, or in-person at our Nashville campus if you chose our pre-K-12 district leadership or professional practice track. 
  • Take only one class at a time with all materials delivered to you.
  • 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 has been recognized nationally and locally for providing our students with the highest level of academic quality and rigor. We offer a holistic education focused on the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual health of all the students in our diverse student body. As a Christian university, we offer programs that explore the ways faith and education intersect. We are committed to educating the next generation through servant leadership.

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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*


*$100 tech. 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; Health Care Administration; 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. 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

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
  • Health care

“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


Course Descriptions

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

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

Track Descriptions

Choose one of the following tracks:

Coaching and Consulting

Current Principles and Practices in Consulting
EDD 8321
Consulting is designed to help organizations with innovation and improved effectiveness. Students will study cases that demonstrate best practices in consulting. They will also learn real-world practices they can use for internal and external consulting.
Current Principles and Practices in Executive Coaching
EDD 8322
Students will engage current principles and practices in executive coaching. Focus will be on empowering leaders in professional development as well as moving the enterprises they lead forward. Students will apply learned principles in applied practice both inside and outside the classroom.
Consulting and/or Coaching Practicum
EDD 8323
Students will design and implement a consulting and/or coaching engagement with a leader and/or organization. Students will report on outcomes pursued, as well as demonstrated progress.


Enterprise Leadership

Leading at the Enterprise Level
EDD 8351
This course is designed to provide students with the information needed to lead an enterprise successfully. The course will cover topics such as leadership characteristics, ethical leadership, team leadership, inspirational leadership, and visionary leadership models.

Students will study enterprise leadership from an inspirational view of leadership from a Christian perspective in developing cohesive teams. Students will explore the levels of effective leadership, issues facing leadership, and strategic measures of leadership. Students will investigate the complexity of the leadership environment of an enterprise through related discussions, topics, and case studies to better understand the skills and the different ways in which leadership can be conveyed.
Managing Complex Operations
EDD 8352
This course is designed to enhance the understanding of managing in a complex operational corporate culture in the areas of function, process, and ideology. Topics will include quality assessment, lean, six-sigma, process improvement, understanding techniques for charting and technical variable data, statistical process control, and total quality management. Students will study complex operations from an inspirational view of managing from a Christian perspective in developing managerial skills. Students will explore the failures in quality initiatives, managerial mistakes, and how the lean Six Sigma approach drive and support top management. Students will investigate the complexity of managing people, data-based technology, decision making to achieve, and measure the organization performance.
Entrepreneurial Management
EDD 8353
Students will learn how to approach innovation within an organization like an entrepreneur, including how to create a culture of creativity, use small teams to drive innovation throughout the organization, quickly evaluate new ideas and teach others within the organization to think and act like entrepreneurs.


Health Care Administration

Change Management and Negotiation Strategies
EDD 8341
This course will help students learn strategic methods of change management and how to effectively lead change in healthcare organizations. Students will examine change models, challenges leaders encounter while leading change, and negotiation tactics to overcome barriers to change. Through the application of theoretical and conceptual schema, case scenarios, and other related material, students will identify their negotiation style and learn how to influence change to promote organizational development and achieve desirable outcomes for all stakeholders of health organizations.
The Culturally Competent Healthcare Leader
EDD 8342
This course examines various models, and strategies executive leaders may use to promote the delivery of culturally competent care and establish a culturally competent environment in healthcare organizations and healthcare systems. Students will conduct a self-assessment of their cultural competency. Through the application of theoretical and conceptual frameworks, case scenarios, and interpretation of self-assessment scores, students will learn how to promote cultural intelligence throughout healthcare organizations and healthcare systems.
Quality Systems Management and Regulatory Affairs
EDD 8343
In this course, students will examine the purpose and role of regulatory requirements in healthcare organizations. Students will also learn the significance of quality management systems and how such tools assist healthcare executives in establishing quality control measures and evidence-based practices in yielding optimal healthcare and services. Through case scenarios, collaborative group work, application, and synthesis of continuous quality improvement concepts, principles, and models, students will learn how to develop evidence-based management processes and influence enhanced clinical outcomes and operational efficiency.


Higher Education

Higher Education Leadership and Administration
EDD 8311
Students will review the foundations of higher education leadership and assessment, considering several case studies that demonstrate current principles and practices for those in higher education leadership today.
Teaching in Higher Education: Principles and Practices
EDD 8312
Teaching at the collegiate and graduate levels has a rich heritage and well-developed current practices. These patterns will be studied and exemplified in class and selected case studies.
Teaching Practicum
EDD 8313
Students will be assigned to a Trevecca course where they will partner with a Trevecca faculty member in the instruction of an online course. Additional work will be assigned in reflecting on the teaching observed and areas of continued development for the student.


PreK-12 District Leadership

District Optimization
EDD 8331
Students will explore the balance of how a school district is organized and run determines its effectiveness in ensuring high levels of learning for all students. The alignment of all district positions, processes, policies, and procedures can determine whether students receive a quality education or not. Throughout this course, candidates will understand that 1.) the district leadership is in charge of establishing relationships with school board members to be able to make successful recommendations for approval of recommendations; 2.) District policy is formulated and recommended by district leadership and approved by the school board; 3.) Effective organizational decisions are developed by consensus; 4.) Data is a crucial driver of the organizational decision-making process; 5.) District leadership is ultimately responsible for district outcomes.
Systemic and Systematic Improvement
EDD 8332
Students will explore how the creation and alignment of processes to accomplish the mission and vision of the district lies in the systemic and systematic improvement efforts introduced by district leadership. When district leadership aligns the "why" of the district to the needs of the community, all students are able to access a high-quality education that ensures high levels of learning for all students. Throughout this course, candidates will learn the foundations of systemic and systematic improvement, how to implement and align all district operations and academics to systemic and systematic improvements, and how to ensure that improvements are being made through the use of Key Performance Indicators and Key Performance Metrics.
Community and Political Partnerships
EDD 8333
Students will explore how the success of a school system lies in its ability to align itself with community partners, community businesses, stakeholder groups, and political allies; this district alignment begins with district leadership. In this course, candidates will learn about communication dynamics into order to forge relationships with district stakeholders, the necessity to have a strong working relationship with the school board, the courage to make difficult decisions in the face of extreme pressure, the importance of business partnerships in educational opportunities for students, and the need to cultivate current relationships for future outcomes.


Professional Practice

Cultural Influences
EDD 8301
Engages a thorough study of the multiple elements that impact learning: conflict, cultural groupings, discrimination, ethnicity, ethnocentrism, fragmentation, prejudice, bias, stereotyping, the role of culture in people's lives, and other elements that influence beliefs, values, and decisions are investigated. The candidate is given an opportunity to expand personally and professionally through an evidence-based examination of how culture influences the workplace.
Ethical Leadership
EDD 8302
Within the context of a candidate's professional practices, s/he will focus on an issue of interest. Candidates will explore the ethical issues, power, and future issues in his/her area of interest. Candidates will reflect on the research and explorations and delineate the knowledge and abilities critical for a changing world.
Strategic Policy and Planning
EDD 8303
This course studies the roles of institutions, departments, and teams in planning and implementation strategies. An evidence-based foundation encourages the candidate to use scientifically-based practice to improve efficiency. Holistic and integrated strategies are implemented to guide candidates in investigating policy and planning to achieve visions and high organizational performance.