Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership


The College of Education’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is designed to meet your professional development needs as an educational leader. PhD graduates complete a concentration in Educational Leadership. This 60-hour PhD program will develop you to lead, model, think, communicate, and research with biblical excellence.

What You'll Learn 

You will grow in your ability to articulate Christ-centered perspectives in educational institutions and to represent education from a biblical perspective in the broader society. You will develop capacities to think, communicate, and model biblical excellence in educational leadership positions through coursework and research in areas such as leadership theory, school law, financial principles, faculty and staff supervision, decision making, strategic planning, and development.

Program Length 

4 to 6 years

Career and Ministry Opportunities With This Degree

Your Doctor of Philosophy will prepare you to lead in a variety of educational settings.

  • K-12 Schools: Positively impact students, their families, faculty and staff in a public or private school setting in the United States or abroad in various leadership roles such as principal, dean or superintendent.
  • Leadership Positions in Colleges or Universities: Provide effective and informed leadership in decision-making roles such as dean, vice president or president at a college or university.
  • Academic Careers:  Lead at various levels in educational organizations, teach at the college level, or continue educational research in your field of interest.

Why Study Education at CIU Online?

CIU is world-renowned for doctoral studies and has numerous alumni in places of leadership in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations worldwide.  Studying educational leadership at CIU online provides you with a rich, diverse global learning experience. The program of study is geared for working adults and educational leaders who will be equipped to put into practice what they are learning.  Coursework is taught from a biblical worldview as professors regularly integrate faith and learning.


  • Online application
  • $25 application fee
  • Applicants must have an accredited bachelor's degree 
  • Official college transcripts of all work completed or in progress
  • Two general references
  • Signed Doctrinal Statement
  • Master's degree from an accredited institution that provides a relevant foundation for doctoral studies in educational leadership.
  • Performance in graduate coursework indicating an ability to be successful in doctoral-level studies.
  • Command of the English language as evidenced in a writing sample that demonstrates the ability  to do doctoral research and writing.
  • Sufficient leadership experience to undergird degree program requirements.
  • Administrative or teaching experience and other evidence indicating that the doctoral degree will enable the applicant to enhance his or her leadership role and contribution to the cause of education.
  • Official GRE test scores or official MAT scores. (The exam must have been taken within the last five years.)

Program Options That Fit Your Experience Level 

CIU also offers an online Education Specialist (EdS) degree program which is intended to help extend professional understanding and practice in the critical area of education.  The EdS degree program is comprised of 30 hours of doctoral-level courses, but does not include the research component associated with the Doctor of Philosophy.