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Academic Catalog
    Feb 21, 2024  
Academic Catalog - Fall 2023 
Academic Catalog - Fall 2023 [ARCHIVED]

Doctor of Education, EdD

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The purpose of the Doctor of Education program at Southeastern is to prepare students for leadership in denominational ministry, teaching in colleges and seminaries, or serving as educators, counselors, or administrators in local churches and Christian schools.

In our mission to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has long recognized the importance of preparing qualified educators to pursue their calling. Southeastern continues to maintain a selection of degree programs focused on professional educators including the M.A. in Christian Education and the M.A.C.E. with Biblical Counseling. The addition of the Doctor of Education degree completes a full complement of academic training by providing a terminal degree program for those students called to the ministry of higher education.

Graduates of this degree program will be able to apply biblical concepts and educational theory in their chosen area of ministry. Graduates will also demonstrate competence in research skills necessary for guiding future research and problem-solving. They will demonstrate leadership skills and administrative concepts needed in a variety of organizational settings and demonstrate teaching skills suited for both ministry and academic environments. Graduates in the Christian Counseling tack will provide counseling that is clinically informed by the social and biological sciences, interpreted through the spectacles of Scripture, and applied from a Christian perspective on personhood and relationships. Finally, graduates will be able to integrate insights from current research in human growth and development and learning theory to design effective educational models and programs

The Seminary offers the following specializations in the Doctor of Education program:

Application Process

The items listed below are necessary for an application to be complete:


  • The application form and applicable non-refundable new application fee of $40.
  • A church affirmation and recommendation form are to be filled out by the church of current membership.
  • Recommendations from three persons who have known the applicant for longer than one year. Recommendations should include one academic source, one clergy source, and one additional source.
  • Spouse’s Personal Statement
  • An autobiography of 2-3 pages double spaced. In this autobiographical essay, document your conversion experience, spiritual pilgrimage, call to ministry, and life experiences. Additionally, include information on ministerial experience, spiritual growth, your calling, and significant life events (i.e., marriage, physical and emotional illness, divorce, and your reasons for choosing Southeastern Seminary).
  • A purpose and goals statement of 1-2 paragraph(s) double spaced. In this brief statement of purpose and goals, discuss your interest in the EdD program, your purpose for getting the degree, and the goals you would like to accomplish as a result of obtaining an EdD from Southeastern.
  • A philosophy of education essay of 3-5 pages double-spaced. The personal philosophy of education essay should cover several topics:
    • The Source of Truth (The Role and Nature of Scripture and the Holy Spirit in Christian Education)
    • The Nature of the Learner (One’s View of the Learner)
    • The Role of the Teacher (One’s View of the Teacher)
    • The Value of Various Approaches/Techniques/Methodologies (One’s View of Curriculum)

You may include or substitute other topics with those listed above.

  • TOEFL Test Scores
  • International Student Packet
  • Applicants must successfully complete (minimum grade of B) a graduate-level class in statistics in order to fulfill the language requirement and ensure adequate preparation for the course in statistics included in the program (This course may be taken after a student begins the program).
  • A master’s degree in education or related fields from an accredited institution qualifies the prospective student to submit an application. An applicant is expected to have earned a minimum 3.25 GPA from their last completed degree.
  • Applicants who did not have biblical studies in their graduate program must successfully complete (minimum grade of B) a biblical core of 12 hours prior to registration in the second year of the EdD program. Leveling courses in biblical and theological studies must be completed at the graduate level. We recommend taking four of the following courses offered at Southeastern:
    • New Testament (NTS5110 or NTS5120),
    • Old Testament (OTS5110 or OTS5120),
    • Christian Theology (THE6110 or THE6120),
    • Church History (HIS5110 or HIS5120) or Baptist History (HIS5130), or
    • Bible Exposition 1 (PRS6100).


The Doctor of Education Committee will notify applicants of their admission status following its meeting the first week of May and the first week of December.

Additional information may be obtained from the Doctor of Education Office, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 1889, Wake Forest, NC 27588-1889, or by e-mail at An informational guide, application checklist, and 3-year program structure will be provided to aid in completing the application process.


Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Education program is designed to be completed in three years. The curriculum for the first two years requires 48 credit hours. Of these 48 hours, 42 are in the classroom, while the remaining 6 credit hours will focus on mentorship and guided research. The third year requires 12 credit hours of dissertation work.

Following a modified-residency format and operating on a quarter-system, students come to on-campus seminars four times per year: spring (March), summer (June), fall (October), and winter (December).  The modified-residency format allows students to earn an EdD while living anywhere in the U.S.


Students in the EdD (Christian Education)  track will complete 36 hours of education seminars (including Advanced Statistics) plus an additional 12 hours of mentorship and specialized study (see below) for a total of 48 credit hours. Students in the EdD (Christian Counseling)  track will complete 18 hours of counseling seminars plus an additional 30 hours of education seminars (including Advanced Statistics) for a total of 48 credit hours.

Advanced Statistics

Graduate studies in empirical research methodologies, statistical analysis, and computer applications serve as substitutes for foreign language studies in the Doctor of Education program. Actual foreign language studies are not ordinarily required unless mandated by the dissertation research topic.

Specialized Studies Courses (Christian Education track)

Students complete 6 hours of course work related to their area of academic interest. Students who take courses at institutions other than SEBTS will pay fees and tuition charges prescribed by the host institution. If the student is simultaneously taking courses for credit at SEBTS, the student also will pay the seminary registration fees.

The student is responsible for requesting that an official transcript of coursework taken at other institutions be sent to the Registrar’s office at SEBTS. No student will be cleared to take Comprehensive Examinations until the official transcript(s) have been received and evaluated by the Doctor of Education Committee at SEBTS.


The EdD program includes a mentorship; that is, a focused series of interactive academic meetings including personal tutoring in the field by the student’s major professor. As this process takes place, the professor interacts with the student to provide academic direction and advice as the student develops increasing depth and skill in the area of research interest. Preparation of the dissertation normally begins during the mentorship stage of the student’s program. The mentorship and guided research will help the student specify the title, the proposed method, content of research, and demonstrate that the resources necessary to successfully complete the dissertation are available to the student.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive exams will consist of eight hours of written examinations following the completion of all course work and prior to advancing to candidacy.


Production of a dissertation that makes an original contribution to the student’s academic field is the final stage in the EdD Program.

In order to graduate with a Doctor of Education, the student must complete 60 hours of study.

Course of Studies

First year

Sessions 1 and 2 - 13 Hours

Sessions 3 and 4 - 12 Hours

Second year

Sessions 5 and 6 - 12 Hours

Sessions 7 and 8 - 12 Hours

Third year

Fall - 6 Hours

Spring - 6 Hours

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