This doctorate degree program, available fully-online or at our Portland, Oregon campus, prepares candidates to become transformational education leaders capable of making a meaningful impact in schools, government, academia, business, and not-for-profit organizations.
Ed.D. Program Overview
Designed to rigorously prepare you to become a transformational education leader, the Concordia University Doctoral Program in Education offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse universities and businesses. This doctorate degree program is designed to prepare candidates to become transformational leaders in education, ready to make an immediate and long-term positive impact in schools, government, academia, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Candidates can complete the program on campus or online. Choose from specializations in Teacher Leadership, Educational Administration, Higher Education, and Transformational Leadership. Classes are seven and a half weeks in length, and are limited to 15 candidates to ensure quality.
Ed.D. Program Goals and Objectives
The Concordia 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 grounded with a solid ethical, moral, and faith-based truth-telling, integrity, and a spirit of service.
- 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, the Concordia University Doctoral Program in Education offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse universities and businesses.
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Core Courses
EDDC 600 / EDDC 602 / EDDC 603 (1)
Nine Lives of Scholarly Writing I, II, III
This course provides opportunities for doctoral students 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. Students 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)
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, students 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 610 & 619 (2)
Scholars Before Researchers I & II
Scholars Before Researchers is a two-part course devoted to researching and drafting the dissertation literature review. Course topics include an overview of the literature review process, advanced library research techniques, and methods of organizing and managing the literature. Students will leave the course with a completed draft of their dissertation literature review. The course is co-taught with the research librarian who is involved in the process from topic formulation through defense (Green & Bowser, 2002; 2003; 2006)
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 622 (3)
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 651 (3)
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.
EDDR 699 A & B (3)
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.
Students Will Choose Two of the Following Eight Intense Research Module Options:
EDDR 629 (2)
Intense Research Module Action Research
The action research module focuses on using social science research methods to foster the continuous improvement of educational practice. Continuous improvement may be conceived as analogous to an equilateral triangle, in which the three sides respectively are reflective practice, action research, and problem solving. Action research is often cooperative inquiry undertaken by educators, schools, and colleges in order to reflect collectively on their own educational practices and to seek ways to work together in improving their practices.
EDDR 639 (2)
Intense Research Module Descriptive or Survey
Descriptive or survey research involves collecting data to describe conditions, test hypotheses, or to answer questions about people's opinions on some topic or issue. It is particularly useful to quantify dispositions and as a quantifying complement in a mixed-method design.
EDDR 649 (2)
Intense Research Module Experimental Research
"When well conducted, experimental students produce the soundest evidence concerning cause-effect relations" (Gay, et al. 2013, p. 251). The focus of this course is on Quantitative Methods of Experimental Research. The goal of the course is for students to understand and demonstrate the value of Experimental Research in Education and the Social Sciences. Students will propose an Experimental Design, conduct a pilot study, and evaluate the outcome of the study.
EDDR 650 (2)
Intense Research Module Correlational, Causal-Comparative, Including Ex Post Facto
This course covers two non-experimental quantitative research designs: correlational and causal-comparative, including ex post facto. Correlational research involves collecting data to determine whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables while in causal-comparative research the researcher attempts to determine the cause or reason, for existing differences, or that have occurred in the past, in the behavior or status of groups or individuals.
EDDR 661 (2)
Intense Research Module - Module Policy
Policy research determines which of various alternative policies will best achieve a given set of goals. It may be descriptive, analytical, or focus on causal processes and explanations, evaluating existing or new policy, describe best practice, measure social change, or develop projections.
EDDR 692 (2)
Intense Research Module - Program Evaluation
Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies, and programs. Questions may focus on effectiveness, improvement, or alternatives and usually examine the relationship between current practice and a set criteria, desired outcomes, or aspirations.
EDDR 663 (2)
Intense Research Module - Narrative, Case Study
This course is designed to provide educational leaders with the practical research knowledge of narrative and case study (qualitative) approaches applied to research topics in education. Topics will include the functions of narrative and case study methods. Applications of the two qualitative approaches will be applied to varied topics in educational research.
EDDR 670 (2)
Intense Research Module - Phenomenological, Ethnographic
The focus of this course is on two specific methods of qualitative research: Phenomenology and Ethnography. The goal of the course is for students to understand and distinguish between each of these methods and then conduct a preliminary study choosing either Phenomenological or Ethnographic research methods.
Ed.D. Application Checklist
Please make sure your first and last names appear on all of your application materials. After applying online, you may submit your materials (preferably in one packet) in one of the following methods:
- Upload items through your online application account
- Scan and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax materials to: (408) 608-0318
- Mail to:
Online Admission Office – Processing Center
4129 East Van Buren, Suite 240
Phoenix, AZ 85008
A Note Regarding the Educational Administration Specialization
The Ed.D. specialization in Educational Administration is designed to provide current administrators with additional knowledge and expertise to positively impact the school or district at which they work. The Educational Administration specialization is not intended for those seeking training or credentials to become principals and will not lead to initial principal certification. Applicants are advised to check with administrative licensing requirements in their home state to determine whether the Ed.D. program meets standards as set by the agency, as needed.
Individuals involved in leadership and/or management in both education and non-education settings, may benefit from school district-based educational content, skills, and strategies. In these cases, principal licensure or current employment as a principal may not be required for admission to the educational administration specialization. These candidates will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be interviewed by the director of the doctorate program.