Discover Your Leadership Style
You view leadership as organic and evolving, so advance your skills while continuing to progress in your career with this fully online Ed.D. program. As a student of ACU Online, you are part of a vibrant, virtual, Christ-centered community that prioritizes your achievements and helps you balance work, life and other commitments.
One of the Best Online EDD Programs
Abilene Christian University has been named one of the nation’s Best Online Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) Programs for 2022 by Fortune magazine.
About the Program
Connect and merge transactional and transformational leadership styles through ACU’s online Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program to make a difference in your workplace, school or community. Strengthen and expand your skills through a research-based approach resulting in a dissertation while understanding how communication, connection and diversity uplift and inform organizational culture and strategy. Tackle the latest challenges while pursuing the next level of your professional journey.
All the Details on Your Degree
Our program is organized around five core competencies: personal development, positive leadership development, collaboration and communication, organizational assessment, and organizational culture. Upon completing the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program, you will know not only how to lead, but how to lead with purpose based upon the foundation of Christian vocation.
3-5 year timeframe
Leading Organizational Change
Introduction to Doctoral Study
Self-Assessment in Leadership
Applied Research Problems and Literature
Upcoming Start Dates
March 7, 2023
May 2, 2023
Consisting of 60 credit hours, the online Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership is divided into three key parts. Foundational courses enhance universal, broadly applied leadership skills. A concentration translates these skills to your particular field to better understand how to empower your staff. Research courses help you examine leadership from observational and data-gathering perspectives and prepares you to develop your dissertation.
At the program’s core, the foundational courses advance what you know about classic and contemporary leadership theories, weave in human resources, finance and technology development concepts and foster a change-based mindset while diving into the latest political and social issues influencing leadership applications. From here, you’ll select from one of four concentrations:
Growth doesn’t happen by chance. A leader’s approach influences results, and that’s the focus of the field of positive leadership. Dating back to the early 2000s, this concept focuses on the organic relationship between organizations and their members and harnesses this fluidity to nurture a culture of excellence and growth. This concentration examines the outcomes, processes and attributes that take you and your organization beyond existing to thriving and excelling.
Now more than ever, leadership shapes a school’s and district’s culture. Providing a well-rounded understanding of the higher education landscape, this concentration equips you to shepherd students’ progress and promote faculty members’ strengths through courses in resource management, legal and ethical considerations, diversity, student development, spiritual formation, assessment and research.
Collaboration is the backbone of growth. Yet, when an organization experiences conflict, the leader illuminates the path forward. The Conflict Management concentration focuses on the dynamics of interpersonal friction and effective negotiation and mediation skills. Developed for individuals in a wide variety of organizational and personal environments, this concentration also delves into organizational decision-making theory and practical alternatives designed to promote a culture of collaboration, resiliency and inclusivity.
Learning with Emerging Technologies
How quickly and effectively does your organization or school embrace and implement new technologies? Don’t just wish or speak theoretically. Get a head start and begin developing a plan with the Learning with Emerging Technologies (LET) concentration. These courses focus on all things related to technology-enhanced learning environments, including course design and development, ways to meet challenges, the evaluation of emerging technology practices, the theory and structure of instructional design, adult motivation, and self-directed learning.
Meet the Program Director
Dr. Karen Maxwell, Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership
Dr. Karen Maxwell is associate professor and program director for the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and Education Specialist in Organizational Leadership programs. A majority of Dr. Maxwell’s leadership experience has been in public and private K-12 settings at the campus, regional, and state levels. She served on the statewide teacher appraisal advisory committee and most recently, on the Texas Education Agency’s team to develop Advancing Educational Leadership (AEL), an instructional leadership program required for Texas teacher evaluators and school principals. Dr. Maxwell earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, where she researched principal assessment programs and campus leadership practices. She holds master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and a B.A. in English from Abilene Christian University.
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Bryan Patterson
As a born leader, Dr. Bryan Patterson discovered early on that his passion was to be an agent of change in his communities. From first-generation college student to dissertation chair and adjunct professor for ACU Online’s Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program, Bryan is following his calling to teach. Check out our latest blog to hear how he’s transforming learners to leaders.
Student Spotlight: Kimberly Parrott, Ed.D.
Kimberly Parrott, online Ed.D. student says, “A lot of times when people think of these online experiences, they think it’s technical and that they won’t receive the same connection and support, but ACU has gone above and beyond to let you know there is someone there for you to answer your questions and be heard.” Read our latest blog to learn how her time as a Wildcat has changed her perspective on the field of education and the practical takeaways she has gained.
The Difference Between Transactional and Transformational Leadership
Transactional and transformational practices lie at separate ends of the leadership spectrum, but both are applicable to today’s business environment. Read on to learn the differences between these styles and how they are practiced in the workplace.
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Karen Maxwell
From growing up in the Abilene community, to serving students online as Ed.D. Program Director and Associate Professor, ACU has always held a special place in Dr. Karen Maxwell’s heart. Check out our latest faculty spotlight to learn more about her and her journey to online education.
The 5 Traits of Positive Leadership to Master
Do you want to take your leadership skills even further? Here are five skill areas where you need to focus your attention to achieve personal and professional success.
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jennifer Butcher
Meet Dr. Jennifer Butcher, Director of Diversity and Professor in the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program! She has a passion for online learning and infusing a Christian worldview into her work. Read more to learn more about Dr. Butcher’s journey to ACU Online.
Student Spotlight: Daniel Soliz, Ed.D.
As he said himself, “the most dangerous student is one without a vision,” but that wasn’t the case for this ACU alum. Daniel Soliz, Ed.D. went from a first-generation college student to earning his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from ACU at just 26. Check out his story to learn more about how he’s dedicating his life to being a champion for students just like him.
Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Leadership Overview
Hear from Dr. Brian Cole, a faculty member in the School of Organizational Leadership and associate professor in the online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Leadership program. He’ll speak about what you can expect to learn, what your average week will look like, and what sets our EdD apart from others.