Program Features

Commitment to Scholarship

The curriculum for this Ph.D. degree is designed to educate thoughtful, well-rounded, highly skilled Christian leaders who can provide long-term vision for the field of higher education. Ph.D. students need additional experimental research design and qualitative research courses, whereas Ed.D. students focus more on improving professional practice. Our Ph.D. graduates will be well-equipped to both enter the world of academic research or converse with peers, colleagues, and others about the world of academic research. In top-level administrative jobs where one is working across the academy, the Ph.D. will receive more credibility. Furthermore, the degree provides our students greater entre to other fields such as public policy work, educational research positions affiliated with foundations, and non-profit organizations.

Commitment to Faith

The program features the integration of faith and learning as its hallmark (with the study and research of the Christian and ethical dimensions of higher education as important elements). Nationally, programs that prepare educational leaders from a Christian perspective are extremely rare. This program fills an important niche by taking a holistic approach in studying colleges and universities within a research environment. Graduates will be equipped to study and think about higher education in light of a broader vision for human flourishing.

Commitment to Experience

Ph.D. students will serve as graduate apprentices (GAs) in various research and administrative offices at Baylor or partnering higher education institutions for the first three years of the program. The apprenticeships provide the graduate students context in which to place their theoretical knowledge into practice. Students are given the opportunity to learn from the example of educational administrators who address problems and opportunities that the students study and critically analyze in the curriculum. Each apprenticeship provides full tuition remission as well as a stipend, meaning that almost every student in our program participates with relatively little out-of-pocket expenses. Students are financially responsible for books, fees, conferences, and living expenses). Please note that not all apprenticeships are available every year.

The program also provides unique teaching opportunities for students. Each graduate student in the fourth year will be given the opportunity to teach 3 to 6 hours of undergraduate leadership (LDS) courses each semester. These courses comprise Baylor’s Minor in Leadership Studies. Students in the minor are encouraged to critically think about and apply analytical skills to develop their own understanding of leadership that will create a mindset to live a life of service in whatever their chosen vocation.