Address educational issues with confidence and discernment.

You're an experienced educator who is well-versed in various educational problems and who wants to be a leader in the solutions. That's an honorable calling, and Cumberlands is ready to help. Our online doctorate in educational leadership will develop advanced practitioner skills that are rooted in sound research methodologies so that you can dig deeper into the roots of the issues and develop clear, impactful solutions. You'll be prepared to apply the critical thinking and creativity necessary to solve today’s most pressing educational challenges. Through this 60-hour online EdD in Educational Leadership program, you will also dive deeper into a specialty area so you can better address the obstacles facing that particular subject.

Anchor: Stats
Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

Online Doctorate of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

An accelerated, online EdD in Educational Leadership program can be completed in three years or fewer. Cumberlands’ doctorate of educational leadership online program boasts several design features, such as asynchronous, remote classes, executive format, and one-on-one instruction. Core courses focus on the politics of educational decision-making, program evaluation and assessment, institutional improvement, professional writing, and the development of sound research skills. By the time you graduate from the online doctorate in education leadership program, you will be stronger in all kinds of leadership skills and better understand the behind-the-scenes of education.

Additionally, if you are a current educator wishing to obtain Kentucky Rank 1 certification, you may complete an approved Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) program through the School of Education and transfer up to thirty (30) hours of the program toward the Doctor of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.).  Note that a Ph.D. or Ed.D. alone will not lead to the Kentucky Rank 1 certification without first completing an Ed.S. through the School of Education. Our knowledgeable advisors are here to help you enroll in the classes you need to complete your Rank 1 certification and then the Doctor of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.).

Course Requirements

LEAS 730 The Politics of Organizational Decision-Making

LEAC 731 Learning in Adulthood

LEAS 732 Program Planning and Assessment

LEAS 830 Leadership in Theory and Practice

LEAS 833 Higher Education in America

LEAS 835 The Change Process

LEAC 834 Leadership in Historical Context

DSRT 734 Inferential Statistics in Decision-making

DSRT 837 Professional Writing and Proposal Development 

DSRT 736 Dissertation Seminar

DSRT 850 Qualitative Research 

DSRT 839 Advanced Research Methods

DSRT 930, 931 Dissertation

Criminal Justice

  • CROL 631 Law Enforcement Administration                            
  • CROL 632 Critical Issues in Law Enforcement: Race & Gender
  • CROL 633 Corrections Administration                                       
  • CROL 634 Critical Issues in Community Based Corrections
  • CROL 635 Legal and Ethical Issues in Homeland Security      
  • CROL 636 Critical Issues in Homeland Security
  • CROL 637 Juvenile Justice Administration and Management 
  • CROL 641 Violent Offenders: Crimes & Psychology
  • CROL 651 Recovery and Relapse
  • CROL 674 Advanced Statistical Analysis (Ph.D. Elective hours only)
  • CROL 677 Applied Leadership (Ph.D. Elective hours only)
  • CROL 681 Proseminar in Criminal Justice 
  • CROL 683 Criminal Justice Program Evaluation 
  • CROL 685 Qualitative Methods in Criminal Justice (Ph.D. Elective or CJ Spec hours)
  • CROL 687 Legal Research and Analysis 
  • CROL 689 Life-Course Criminology 
  • CROL 691 Drugs and Crime


Education courses EdD and Ph.D. students may enroll in.

Some courses require field/clinical hours that students must complete to earn a passing grade. Some courses listed may have prerequisites and may not be available to students who have not previously completed the prerequisites.

  • ADOL 631     School Program Improvement
  • ADOL 633     Applied Research
  • ADOL 636     School Law I
  • ADOL 637     School Law II
  • ADOL 647     Special Education And School Leadership
  • ADOL 643     Special Education and School Leadership
  • ADOL 655     Team Leadership
  • COOL 633     Children and Adolescent Counseling
  • EDOL 542     Change, Pd, and Teaching Improvement
  • EDOL 547     Diversity in a Multicultural Society
  • EDOL 562     Theory of Teaching and Learning
  • EDOL 634     Curriculum Management And Assessment
  • EDOL 636     Problems In Education
  • REOL 633     Literacy Leadership
  • SPOL 530     Characteristics, Identification, and Instruction of Students with Disabilities
  • SPOL 631     Special Education Assessment and Evaluation
  • SPOL 632     Consultation and Collaboration for Curriculum Design
  • SPOL 636     Advanced Assessment Strategies and Prescriptive Writing


  • ENGL 534 Studies in British Literature
  • ENGL 535 Studies in Modern Literature
  • ENGL 550 Practice of Creative Writing
  • Approved electives

Health Professions  


  • LEAC 847 Diversity and Multicultural Education for Health Professions   
  • LEAC 848 Student Assessment in Health Professions  
  • LEAS 849 Current Topics and Trends in Healthcare   
  • LEAC 840 Foundations of Instructional Technologies    
  • BADM 667 Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare Elective  

Elective (Select one course):  

  • HHP 638 Administrative and Management Strategies (3 hours)   
  • BADM 668 Strategic Management in Healthcare Administration  
  • BADM 663 Healthcare Policy and Economics
  • Approved HHP 500 or 600 level courses 

Health Science

  • HHP 532 Applied Nutrition
  • HHP 533 Health and Fitness Psychology
  • HHP 534 Exercise Physiology
  • HHP 535 Exercise Testing and Prescription
  • HHP 536 Foundations of Physical Activity in Health Promotion
  • HHP 537 Coaching and Fitness Leadership
  • HHP 630 Health Promotion through Physical Activity
  • HHP 631 Advanced Coaching and Fitness Leadership
  • HHP 632 Current Issues in Health Promotion
  • HHP 633 Current Issues in Coaching and Fitness Leadership
  • HHP 634 Strength and Conditioning
  • HHP 635 Youth Health and Fitness
  • HHP 636 Supplementation for Health and Human Performance
  • HHP 637 Applied Sports Medicine
  • HHP 638 Administrative and Management Strategies
  • HHP 639 Special Topics


  • HIST/HIOL 531 Selected Topics
  • Approved electives


  • MAOL 530 Topics in Mathematics I
  • MAOL 630 Topics in Mathematics II
  • Approved electives

Missions and Ministry

Required courses (6 credits):

  • MMOL 537 Christian Education
  • MMOL 634 Christian Leadership Development

Approved electives (6 credits): Select 2 of the following

  • MMOL 531 Old Testament Survey I  
  • MMOL 532 Old Testament Survey II
  • MMOL 533 New Testament Survey I  
  • MMOL 534 New Testament Survey II
  • MMOL 535 Christian Theology I
  • MMOL 536 Christian Theology II

 Additional electives (6 credits):  Select 2 of the following

  • MMOL 631 Focused Study of the Old Testament
  • MMOL 632 Focused Study of the New Testament
  • MMOL 635 Church Administration
  • MMOL 637 Planting High Impact Churches
  • MMOL 538 The Church and Contemporary Culture
  • Any other 500 or 600 level MMOL course


  • NURS510 Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • NURS 520 Issues in Advanced Practice
  • NURS 530 Epidemiology
  • NURS 532 Healthcare Technologies and Informatics in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • NURS 550 Advanced Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice
  • NURS 590 Advanced Pharmacology
  • NURS 592 Advanced Health Assessment
  • NURS 594 Advanced Pathophysiology
  • NURS 670 FNP Advanced Practice I, 6 hrs.
  • NURS 672 FNP Advanced Practice II, 6 hrs.
  • NURS 674 FNP Advanced Practice III, 6 hrs.
  • NURS 690 FNP Advanced Practice Internship, 6hrs.

Student Personnel Services

  • EDOL 631 Advanced Human Behavior
  • LEAC 781 Higher Education and Student Personnel Services
  • LEAC 782 Higher Education Enrollment Management
  • LEAC 783 Higher Education Law and Policy in Student Services
  • BADM 533 Marketing Management
  • COUN 539 Counseling Theories & Techniques I OR COUN 633 Counseling During Grief and Crisis


Courses in the following Masters will matriculate as the Doctoral specialty if the program is completed as a second Masters:

  • MBA
  • Master of Science in Global Blockchain Tech.
  • Master’s in Project Management
  • Master’s in Strategic Management
  • Or other approved electives

Information Systems

Courses in the following Masters will matriculate as the Doctoral specialty if the program is completed as a second Masters:

  • MSDF
  • MSIT
  • Or other approved electives

Instructional Technology


  • LEAC 840 Foundations of Instructional Technologies 
  • LEAC 841 Trends and Issues in Instructional Technology
  • LEAC 842 Leadership and Instructional Technology
  • LEAC 843 Ethical and Legal Issues related to Instructional Technology
  • LEAC 835 Teaching and Learning Online*

Elective (Select one):

  • LEAC 844 Management and Evaluation of Instructional Technology and Design 
  • LEAC 845 Instructional Multimedia Integration
  • LEAC 846 Digital Game-Based Learning

Public Administration

Required Core: 

  • BUPA 660 Fundamentals of Public Administration
  • BUPA 661 Public Enterprise Systems
  • BUPA 662 Emergency Management & Continuity of Operations
  • BUPA 663 Administrative Law & Regulatory Processes
  • BUPA 664 Public Sector Budgeting

Elective (Select one):

  • BACC 632 Governmental and Not-for-profit Accounting
  • BADM 665 Healthcare Policy and Economics
  • BADM 623 Project Management Processes
  • BADM 632 Advanced Human Resource Management
  • BADM 652 Strategic Organizational Design
Anchor: Mission & Goals

Mission & Goals

The mission of Cumberlands' online EdD of Educational Leadership program is to build upon the knowledge and skills of educators like you, to provide an avenue for you to advance into educational leadership positions.

Develop deeper understanding of various educational leadership principles

Learn the history of higher education in America and how it influences today's schools

Conduct qualitative research and master inferential statistics

Strengthen written and oral communication skills

Gain deeper knowledge in one educational specialty area

Anchor: Career Outcomes

Educational Leadership Careers & Outcomes

All stats from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

University Administrator: $99,940

University Administrator: $99,940

Postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities.

Instructional Coordinator: $63,740

Instructional Coordinator: $63,740

Instructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, implement it, and assess its effectiveness. 

Educational Development Specialist: $61,570

Educational Development Specialist: $61,570

Training and development specialists plan and administer programs that improve the skills and knowledge of their employees. 

Anchor: FAQs

Common Questions

An EdD in Educational Leadership online program is a professional doctorate designed to prepare candidates for hands-on leadership in educational settings. The online doctorate in education leadership program is typically intended for experienced educators interested in making a career pivot to education administration or leadership. You’ll build on your existing knowledge base to prepare for new challenges—like leading teams of educators, developing academic programs, and implementing change within schools. You’ll explore topics such as:

  • Leadership styles, principles, and models
  • Organizational decision making
  • Program development, delivery, and assessment
  • Teaching and leading adult learners
  • Leadership in higher education
  • Special education assessment and evaluation

Earning an EdD in Educational Leadership online requires applied professional research, so it is similar to a PhD, but there are differences. Unlike a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which primarily focuses on original research, a doctorate in educational leadership program covers how to use research to solve real-world problems in your school or organization. In University of the Cumberlands' online EdD in Educational Leadership program, you’ll also study the research and writing skills you need to craft an original dissertation investigating a topic of professional interest.

Because many candidates for this degree are working educators, doctorate in educational leadership programs are often available online. An online EdD in Educational Leadership program typically features the same curriculum as a traditional, on-campus program. The difference is that you’ll enjoy the flexibility to study on a schedule that works for you.

Each course lasts eight weeks, called a bi-term. There are two bi-terms per semester, and three semesters per year (fall, spring, and summer). Many classes are asynchronous, meaning there is no set login time; you can work on schoolwork whenever you find time. Cumberlands provides free rental textbooks to online students as part of its One Price Promise.

With a doctorate in educational leadership, you can prepare to make a difference in roles that call for an advanced degree and leadership expertise. For example, as more students seek college degrees, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that postsecondary administrator jobs will continue to grow over the next decade.

Other doctorate holders may go on to teach in postsecondary education, preparing future generations of teachers and educational leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for postsecondary education teachers should grow at a rate of 8 percent over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. 

Students that complete the Ed.S Certification Program prior to transferring to the Ed.D program would be prepared for roles in educational administration at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Students that complete the Ed.D program would be prepared to serve as a University Administrator, Instructional Coordinator, Educational Development Specialist, or in other leadership roles.

With your Ed.D. in educational leadership, you could be well on your way to this and other rewarding career paths.

For many candidates, earning a doctorate in educational leadership online is a worthwhile investment for the following reasons:

  • Career advancement opportunities. For roles such as postsecondary administrator, employers often prefer candidates with a doctorate. In addition, earning your EdD will equip you with the advanced leadership, administration, and research skills you need to stand out in your field.
  • Higher earnings. With an EdD, you may qualify for higher-paying career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school principals earned a median annual salary of $98,490 in 2021. Postsecondary administrators earned $96,910 in the same year. 
  • The chance to make a difference. Many education professionals want to do more to serve their students, colleagues, and communities. Earning an online EdD in Educational Leadership could be the perfect way to prepare for opportunities with greater responsibility and the chance to make a lasting difference.
  • A flexible learning format. Many students appreciate the convenience of an online doctorate in education leadership as they pursue their while juggling life’s other responsibilities. If you plan to keep working in education or another field while pursuing your doctorate, consider educational leadership doctoral programs online.

I couldn’t be more satisfied with my Ed.D. experience from Cumberlands. The university provides affordable, high quality, integral, intentional graduate education. The curriculum is incredibly well-organized, the instructors are knowledgeable (demanding yet fair), the support services are competitive with other institutions I’ve attended, staff services are accessible, there is a high emphasis on respecting and serving diverse populations, and my dissertation team provided essential and valuable feedback that has shaped my scholarship.

Abeni El-Amin, PhD, EdD, LSSMBB
Graduate / Ed.D. Program
Anchor: Faculty

Faculty Experts

Learn more about our educational leadership faculty.

Dr. Lauren Woodward

Dr. Lauren Woodward

Adjunct Professor
EdD - Dr. Educational Leadership

Dr. Lauren Woodward

Contact Information

lauren.woodward [at]
Dr. Christopher Clark

Dr. Christopher Clark

Adjunct Professor
EdD - Dr. Educational Leadership

Dr. Christopher Clark

Contact Information

christopher.clark [at]
Devin Embray

Dr. Devin Embray

Adjunct Professor
EdD - Dr. Educational Leadership

Dr. Devin Embray

Contact Information

devin.embray [at]

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