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.
$3,000 Scholarship for Doctor of Education Students
New students will receive a $3,000 scholarship awarded during your first two years in the Ed.D. program. New students that begin classes in our Fall I session beginning August 22, 2023 will automatically receive the scholarship.
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
October 17, 2023
January 9, 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. Twyla Williams-Damond
From housewife to renowned scholar, Dr. Twyla Wiliams-Damond’s path toward reforming and inspiring the next wave of educators takes a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. On top of serving as dissertation chair for students seeking to earn their Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, Twyla has founded two charter schools and an education consulting agency – all dedicated to showing students in underserved communities how to achieve their goals in and out of school successfully.
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.
Student Spotlight: Jerica Nickerson-Guidry
Pursuing higher education was never a question for alumni Dr. Jerica Nickerson-Guidry, but a matter of determining which level of degree would support her professional goals. Check out our latest spotlight to see how our Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program helped Jerica reach her dream of becoming a professor and department chair and serve the Houston community through servant leadership.
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.