Online Doctorate of Education (EdD)

The Concordia University-Portland doctoral program in education offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse backgrounds, prestigious universities, and successful businesses. The degree prepares candidates to become transformational leaders in education, ready to make an immediate and long-term positive impact in schools, government, academia, business, and non-profit organizations.

Our EdD online curriculum is candidate-focused and includes a pioneering interactive “virtual residency” component: Receive the same collaborative, in-depth academic support as traditional face-to-face residencies with the flexibility of a truly online experience.

Concordia University-Portland’s program is convenient and designed to fit your schedule. Online candidates aren’t bound by a traditional academic calendar – begin your EdD program with any start.

EdD courses are practical and research-based, and will help you gain valuable leadership and decision-making skills through rigorous, intensive project-based learning and purposeful collaboration.

Discover how Concordia Portland’s EdD can help you achieve your goals. To learn more about our programs, or to speak to one of our Enrollment Specialists directly, please fill out the request forms on this page.

The Next Start Date is May 1st

Online Doctorate of Education Specializations

Designed to rigorously prepare you to become a transformational education leader, the Concordia University-Portland doctoral program in education offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse universities and businesses. Candidates can complete the program online or on campus, and can choose from various specializations:

Classes are 8 weeks in length, and are limited to 15 candidates to ensure quality.

Concordia Portland's Virtual Residency Advantage

Higher education is currently undergoing what may be its most significant change in centuries, with innovative approaches designed to meet the needs of candidates who work and have families. Once again, Concordia University-Portland is leading the way with its online Education Doctorate (EdD) program and its centerpiece, the “virtual residency.”

You can learn more about Concordia Portland's virtual residency by connecting with an Enrollment Specialist using the form on this page, or read more here.


Online EdD Program Goals & Objectives

The Concordia Portland doctoral program focuses on developing reflective practitioners and transformative leaders who:

  • Understand the theoretical bases of practice, are able to turn theory into action, and can utilize skills and strategies to improve practice.
  • Apply organizational skills and strategies, apply capacity-building program analyses, and have a willingness to recognize need and confront it with reason and grace.
  • Are well grounded with ethical, moral, and faith-based perspectives on truth-telling, service to others, and living with integrity.
  • Understand purposeful collaboration, democratic participation, and choice as a guiding style that produces strong and powerful results.
  • Have the capacity to meld reason and imagination, analysis and hunch, and accept a tolerance for ambiguity.
  • Have a willingness to think and act critically, unravel dense meaning, and probe complicated projects with sense and clarity.
  • See themselves as scholars who are committed to study as intentional, intriguing, and inspiring.

Designed to rigorously prepare you to become a transformational education leader, Concordia University-Portland's doctoral program in education offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse universities and businesses.

Is an Online EdD Degree Program Right for You?

Should you earn a Doctorate of Education? Simply put--it depends on the kind of educator you are and the goals you have set for yourself. Prospective candidates share many of the same objectives:

  • Learn how to use systematic inquiry to improve classroom and school practice
  • Lead organizational change using empirically developed and proven strategies
  • Work together in small research communities to share resources and ideas

Most prominently, candidates exhibit a love of teaching both in and out of the classroom. "An EdD is for teachers and administrators," said Dr. Mark Wahlers, provost and chief operating officer of Concordia University-Portland. "This is for the educator who wants to interact with academic research and make it practical."

As a terminal academic degree, the EdD is a natural next step for individuals ambitious to enhance leadership capabilities in teaching and administration. The online platform is especially welcomed by educators who are already balancing work, family, and community obligations, while holding on to the dream of continuing to climb up the education career ladder.

Concordia Portland has customized its online EdD program in the same spirit that the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate is currently using to retool similar programs throughout the United States. Concordia Portland, as the Carnegie Project advocates, has ensured that its instruction is practical, based in research, and rigorous.


Course Descriptions

Online EdD Program Coursework

The doctorate curriculum requires candidates to complete a breadth of core classes. Please visit the specific specialization pages to read about courses required for each respective specialization:

EdD in Educational Administration

EdD in Higher Education

EdD Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation

EdD in Teacher Leadership

EdD in Transformational Leadership

Doctorate of Education (EdD) - Core Courses
EDDC 600 A&B / EDDC 602 A&B / EDDC 603 A&B (0.5)
Nine Lives of Scholarly Writing I, II, III

This course provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become stronger writers during and beyond their academic career. Writing craft development occurs through peer writing groups, close study of published texts, and interaction with faculty writers. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising one's own writing are also covered. Candidates write and revise various genre of scholarly writing throughout the year-long series, culminating in a revised draft of the first Comprehensive Connection Paper.

EDDC 605 (3)
Transformational Learning
Based on the view that an individual's beliefs influence his or her actions in powerful ways, this course encourages candidates to reframe their world-view to move away from knowledge transmission towards transformational learning. Candidates will deconstruct conformity to social and cultural canons which have permeated U.S. public schools to a negative effect. They will examine theories that are meant to catalyze social transformation and individual change, and develop their own theory and practice of transformative learning for social change.
EDDC 608 (3)
Quantitative Research Methods
This course helps beginning educational researchers balance the competing demands of formal experimental and survey design principles with the ever-present practical constraints of the real world so that they can conduct sound quantitative research. Emphasis will be placed on formulating research questions, identifying relevant target populations, selecting respondents for study, refining definitions of the effects of interest, identifying relevant comparisons, selecting appropriate measures, including descriptive, inferential, and probability statistics, determining how many subjects to study, taking advantage of the results of previous research and pilot studies, and anticipating the unanticipated. The quantitative research designs of survey, correlation, causal-comparative, and comparative will be examined.
EDDC 611 (3)
Qualitative Research Methods
The goal of this course is to examine inquiry from a relativistic, but systematic, way of knowing. Candidates will apply qualitative research principles through coherent study of the established methodological designs of narrative, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. The issues of alternative knowledge claims, validity or trustworthiness, in-depth field work, and data collection and analysis will be examined through these six strategies of inquiry.
EDDC 615 (3)
The Ethical Educator

This course is grounded in the belief that it is the responsibility of educators to employ ethical practice in the daily activities of their personal and professional lives. Educators must also ensure that the institutional policies and practices of their school or organization adhere to the application of ethical practice throughout the workplace. The course will emphasize human subjects research issues of harm and deception. This study of the use of ethical principles in an educational context will include an examination of the underlying assumptions and implicit or explicit policies that can support or erode ethical practice. As a result of the activities and discussions completed in this course, candidates will have the opportunity to transform their personal and professional ethical lives and priorities.

EDDC 618 (3)
Leading Organizational Change
This course focuses on helping learners internalize the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and values necessary for facilitating organizational improvement in schools and colleges. In particular, it zeros in on the theory and technology of Organizational Development (OD), and the "what, why, and how" of planned change in diverse educational settings from pre-school to graduate school. Additionally, the course content is undergirded by person-centered values, democratic leadership skills, as well as the ideology of service-management, and is aimed at facilitating excellence in student-centered teaching and learning.
EDDC 620 (3)
Creativity, Inquiry, and Innovation
This course emphasizes the need for organizations to foster an environment where creativity, inventiveness, and entrepreneurship are expectations in the culture. Topics are investigated through popular literature and case studies of individuals who have made significant break-through contributions in the areas of science, music, art, and business. The course will address such questions as "What is the essence of creative work? Can creativity be learned? How critical is it for organizations and leaders to innovate? What conditions are necessary in the workplace to foster an environment where creativity, experimentation, and innovation are welcomed? Who determines what is creative and what is not? Why is innovation more likely found in the commercial and nonprofit sector rather than schools?" Lastly, the course hopes to tap the creative potential within all of us and illustrate its value for our own growth as well as the health of the organization.
EDDT 653 (4)
Religion and Dense Meaning: Parables
This course explores the nature of sacred texts used by practitioners of religion. Because most sacred texts were developed prior to widespread literacy and printing technologies, they require specific reading skills, particularly in extracting practical meaning from densely written texts. Focusing on the Parables of Christ, this course both explores the content of these parables and appropriate reading/ interpretation of these foundational texts.
EDDT 654 (4)
Religion and Extremism
Throughout history, religion has motivated self-sacrifice on behalf of a greater cause. In this course, candidates will study the scriptures, doctrines, and historical contexts that have inspired such movements and actions of extremism and gain an understanding of the power of religion. They will also develop skills in helping students recognize and deal with these influences in their lives and communities.
EDDT 652 (4)
Religion in the Modern World

This seminar investigates the interface of religion and contemporary society through fundamental questions about the meaning of life, the reality of God, and truth and values to live by in a postmodern context. The candidate will examine critically his/her own beliefs and values in the light of popular assumptions and prevalent attitudes in our time, and the deeper questions of life that are addressed by various religious approaches.

EDDR 610 & 619 (2)
Scholars Before Researchers I & II

Scholars Before Researchers I and II are courses taken back-to-back in the first semester of Phase III. The classes are devoted to researching and drafting Chapter Two of the dissertation proposal. Course topics include an overview of the literature review process, advanced library research techniques, and methods of organizing and managing the literature. Candidates will leave the course with a completed draft of their dissertation literature review. A Faculty Chair advises these courses and is involved in the process from topic formulation to proposal defense.

EDDR 620 & 621 (2)
Intense Research Module I & II

The Intense Research Module (IRM) I and II courses assist the candidate in developing the research design and the methods that are employed in the Phase IV research field experience. One intense research module content area is completed in each course to support the development of the dissertation’s research design.

Prerequisites: EDDR 610 & EDDR 619 with grade of P

Content Areas:

  • Case Study, Narrative, and Action Research
  • Correlational, Causal-Comparative, Including Ex Post Facto Research
  • Descriptive or Survey Research
  • Experimental Research
  • Phenomenological and Ethnographic Research
  • Policy Research
  • Program Evaluation Research
EDDR 697 (2)
Proposal Development

This course is designed to assist doctoral candidates in completing their dissertation proposals and prepare candidates to defend the proposals before their dissertation committees. The course continues the Phase III emphasis on developing Scholars Before Researchers by guiding candidates to develop professional writing, research, and presentation skills. Candidates’ Faculty Chairs will instruct, mentor, and advise candidates as they: revise Chapters 2 and 3 of the proposal, write the Chapter 1: Introduction, and then synthesize the full proposal in order to ensure it is defense-worthy. The full dissertation committee will provide input, critique, and support during the development and defense process.

EDDR 698 (1.5)

The dissertation is a scholarly document intended to demonstrate the research competence of the author and to produce greater understanding. It is written in the formal language and style of its discipline or field of study, and it results from a comprehensive, logical, and ethical investigation. The dissertation is an expression of the highest level of critical thought and is expected to be a substantive contribution to the theory or practice of its discipline or field of study.

Candidates are required to complete a minimum of 6 credits of dissertation.

*Religion Requirement

Candidates will be registered for one of the three religion courses (EDDT 653, EDDT 654, or EDDT 652) based on what is being offered at the time, each of which satisfies the religion requirement.




It only takes a minute...

Please correct highlighted fields...

You're almost done...

Please correct highlighted fields...

The last step...

Please correct highlighted fields...
Yes! By submitting this form I ask to receive email, texts and calls about degree programs on behalf of Concordia University-Portland, and agree automated technology may be used to dial the number(s) I provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll.

It only takes a minute...

Please correct highlighted fields...

You're almost done...

Please correct highlighted fields...

The last step...

Please correct highlighted fields...
Yes! By submitting this form I ask to receive email, texts and calls about degree programs on behalf of Concordia University-Portland, and agree automated technology may be used to dial the number(s) I provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll.