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    May 20, 2024  
Missouri Baptist University 2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
Missouri Baptist University 2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Leadership in Teaching and Learning, Ed.D.

CIP Code: 13.9999

Mission Statement

The Ed.D. program is an outgrowth of Missouri Baptist University’s (MBU) mission of “preparing students to serve in a global and culturally diverse society” and the School of Education’s mission to develop “reflective, problem-solving professional educators of excellence.” The Ed.D. program is a natural extension of academic programs, projects, and community activities that are already in progress.

The added dimension of the educational doctorate is to build a “culture of applied research” to serve the PK-12 community, locally, nationally, and internationally. The emphasis will be on creating climates that will help administrators and faculty make changes in the context of teaching, learning, and leadership.

Overview – Leadership in Teaching and Learning

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership in Teaching and Learning program is a practical degree program that builds on an earned Specialist Degree or its equivalent. It is designed to meet the needs of professional administrators and leaders in areas such as curriculum and instruction at the PK-Grade 12 district level. The program emphasizes the development of leadership in teaching and learning strategies that assist schools in promoting a culture of learning, inquiry, innovation, continuous improvement, and equity. The focus on leadership in teaching and learning in this program places achievement in the broader context of scholarship and lifelong learning. 

The added dimension of the educational doctorate is to build a “culture of applied research” which will continue to serve the PK-Grade 12 and higher educational community. 

Primary Audience

The primary audience for the Ed.D. program consists of educational professionals who aspire to be or who are already serving as superintendents, assistant superintendents, college instructors, and curriculum coordinators, although there may be some interest from building-level leaders and administrators as well. To be considered for admission, applicants must have a completed an Ed.S. degree or the equivalent in postmaster’s level study.

Program Themes

The Ed.D. program emphasizes the needs of leaders within the following themes:

  • Leadership in Teaching and Learning - used as a lens through which decisions are made and problems are solved; 
  • Applied Field Research - a component of individual courses as well as the dissertation; 
  • Diversity - diverse experiences working with diverse populations; 
  • Service to the Community - following the mission of MBU to “prepare students to serve in a global and culturally diverse society”; 
  • Reflective Practice - the core of the School of Education’s Conceptual Framework.

These themes reflect the focus of the Ed.D. program to prepare today’s leaders in the areas of visionary leadership, instructional leadership, managerial leadership, relational leadership, and innovative leadership. 


Students in the Ed.D. program will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in original, field-based inquiry and research related to pedagogy, pedagogical content knowledge, and/or district-wide strategies for improving teaching and learning in complex and diverse settings.
  • Engage in moral and ethical decision-making using analytical and interdisciplinary methods for assessing the complicated financial, political, and cultural issues and dilemmas facing public and private school systems.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use sophisticated technological tools for the collection and evaluation of data to make strategic decisions and changes in policies and processes related to teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrate critical reflection in analyzing multi-faceted problems at the district and state level and developing creative solutions for resolving these problems.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills in assessment, problem-solving, and both short-term and long-term strategic planning related to teaching and learning.

Continuous Enrollment

Students will enter the Ed.D. program as a cohort group and move through the program with their assigned group. Students will enroll in each 12-week term until the end of the coursework and completion of the dissertation. 

Dissertation Continuation - GRED 770 : Should student not complete their dissertation by the end of the coursework, they will be required to enroll in a 0-credit hour extension each quarter with a fee the equivalent of one credit hour until the final approval of the dissertation. This enrollment will satisfy the continuous enrollment policy.

Please reference the Ed.D. Handbook for more specific information. The Ed.D. Handbook can be found at

Course Load and Timeline

The load for students enrolled in the Ed.D. program will be one three-hour course every twelve weeks or a total of 12 credit hours by the end of the first year. One class will be on main campus. The timeline for completion of the program for most students is projected to be two years, although some students may take longer to complete the doctoral dissertation.  Students who take longer than two years will be required to enroll in a zero credit hour extension each quarter with a fee the equivalent to one credit hour.  It is expected that students will begin the process for completion of the doctoral dissertation with the appointment of a Dissertation Committee Chair near the end of the second quarter or early in the third quarter.

Field-Based Research

Two doctoral classes, EDUC 723 Transformational Theories and Applications  and EDAD 743 Introduction to the Dissertation , include a field-based research project. These field experiences will be action research projects requiring students to (a) identify a problem within a district setting or topic related to the dissertation study, (b) obtain the permissions and approvals necessary to engage in research, and (c) use appropriate research methods for collecting and evaluating data.

Research Methods Classes

GRED 753 Methods of Inquiry II: Quantitative Analysis  and GRED 763 Methods of Inquiry III: Qualitative Analysis  prepare students for the Doctoral Dissertation with an understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

  • In Methods of Inquiry II, students develop a working knowledge of (a) the key statistical techniques required for various research designs, (b) the interpretation and reporting of research findings, and (c) the necessary analysis required for completing a research project.
  • In Methods of Inquiry III, students practice formulating qualitative questions related to problems in the field of education and identify appropriate qualitative procedures. Students construct data collection protocols for interviews and observations, design surveys, practice document analysis, and apply coding and classification techniques for organizing and interpreting data.

It is expected that individuals completing the Ed.D. degree will continue to engage in applied research at the district level as leaders in the process of teaching and learning.


Assessment of the growth of the Ed.D. student will be ongoing, multi-faceted, and in the form of course-embedded assessments, field-based research evaluations, the Pre-Proposal Defense (PPD) and the Doctoral Dissertation Defense requirements.

Course-Embedded Assessments

Assessments embedded in the Ed.D. courses include case studies, surveys, faculty-made examinations, course papers, and projects as well as formative and summative evaluations. These will be based on both program and course objectives and will be reflected in course syllabi.


Students must complete a six-hour dissertation course (GRED 786 Doctoral Dissertation ) using either quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods research. Requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • An original research design and proposal related to a problem within the student’s respected field; 
  • A comprehensive review of seminal historic and current literature on the problem, beginning with a broad background of research and culminating with literature that most specifically relates to the proposal;
  • A high level of conceptual complexity and critical analysis of the problem;
  • A scholarly quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research project approved by the student’s Doctoral Dissertation Committee, the Pre-Porposal Defense Coaches, and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and conducted appropriately;
  • Appropriate interpretation of research findings and conclusions drawn from those findings;
  • Articulation and defense of the dissertation in an open presentation before the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, faculty, and other graduate students; and
  • Publication of the dissertation through ProQuest.

Please reference the Ed.D. Handbook for more specific information. The Ed.D. Handbook can be found at

Doctoral Dissertation Committee

The function of the Dissertation Committee is to guide and advise students through the process of writing their dissertation. The Leadership in Teaching and Learning Doctoral Dissertation Committee consists of three members: Chair, Second member, and Third Member.

The Dissertation Committee serves as a support to students as well as a bridge between the institution’s expectations and the student’s work. Committee members work with institutional support staff and faculty directly to offer feedback and suggestions, as MBU is committed to a student-centered dissertation model.

Please reference the Ed.D. Handbook for more specific information. The Ed.D. Handbook can be found at

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

The IRB consists of faculty and qualified staff from MBU’s graduate program. This board is responsible for ensuring that all MBU research complies with University and federal guidelines. The IRB reviews all proposed research studies in the Ed.D. program for compliance with the ethical standards of human research. Prior to collecting any data, the student must receive approval from IRB.

Please reference the Ed.D. Handbook for more specific information. The Ed.D. Handbook can be found at

Doctoral Dissertation/Oral Defense Requirements

The Doctoral Dissertation demonstrates the student’s ability to conceptualize and engage in independent research by identifying a significant problem and related question(s), developing a sophisticated methodology for analyzing the problem, and subsequently identifying the findings and drawing conclusions related to the results of the study.

After completing the dissertation, submitting the final written paper, and gaining final approval of the study from the Dissertation Committee and final readers, the student will satisfactorily defend the research study and conclusions during a formal oral defense, before the dissertation committee, faculty, other graduate students, and guests. The oral defense will be scored based on the following expectations:

  • The breadth and depth of the review of literature related to the study
  • The validity of the methodology used in the study
  • The level of critical reasoning used in drawing the conclusions of the research
  • The complexity of arguments used to defend the study
  • The impact of the study on the field of leadership in teaching and learning

Additional revisions to the study may be required, and the chair of the committee will provide stipulations for the suggested changes. If the oral defense is approved, the Dissertation Committee signs the Oral Defense Report. If the oral defense is not approved, the student will continue to work with the Dissertation Committee and may schedule a second and final oral defense. The student has six months from when they receive final approval to schedule and successfully complete the oral defense. The final approved draft will be submitted to the Associate Vice President for Graduate Affairs for the final administrative approval, and, if approved, the student will receive notification from the Ed.D. office.

Summary of the Doctor of Education Degree Process

To earn the Ed.D. degree in Leadership in Teaching and Learning, a student must complete each of the following steps:

  1. Dissertation Committee Selection and Approval
  2. Pre-Proposal Form and Defense
  3. Proposal Submission and Approval (Chapters 1-3)
  4. Institutional Review Board Application and Approval
  5. Committee Approval of Chapters 1-5
  6. MBU Expert and Final Reader
  7. Oral Defense
  8. Final Submission
  9. Polishing and Publication

Please reference the Ed.D. Handbook for more specific information. The Ed.D. Handbook can be found at

Transfer Students/Transfer Credit

Credits will not be considered for transfer into the Ed.D. program in Leadership in Teaching and Learning, with the exception of the Statistics and Methods  I course.

Directed Studies

Courses in the Doctor of Education program are not available by directed study, as specified in the course description.

Grade Requirements

Doctoral level graduate students must earn a grade of B or better in doctoral level courses and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in order to continue in the Doctor of Education program. A student who receives a grade lower than B will be asked to withdraw from the doctoral program.  A student who receives a grade of XF or F in any class will be asked to withdraw from his/her graduate program. 

Research Requirements must comply with each course syllabus expectation along with the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Doctor of Education Degree Requirements

Program Requirements

The Ed.D. program in Leadership in Teaching and Learning requires a total of 24 credit hours beyond the Ed.S., or its equivalent. The courses are built upon the curriculum of a 30-credit hour Ed.S. program. GRED 703 Statistics and Methods I  (3 credit hours), or its equivalent, is a requirement for the Ed.D. program. Most students will be able to satisfy the requirement for Statistics and Methods I  with previous coursework taken within the last seven years.

Total: 24 Hours

*Online Course
**Offered on Main Campus only
†Most students will be able to satisfy the requirement for Methods of Inquiry I with previous coursework