2021-2022 Catalog 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Ethical Leadership, Ed.D.

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Robert Lopez, Ed.D., Director

Olivet Nazarene University’s Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership is a terminal degree program with a focus on professional, field-oriented curriculum leading to a Dissertation In Practice to provide research based solutions. The program is designed to facilitate the learning styles of adult learners engaged in leadership through collaborative community, problem-based learning, and critical thinking. The Ed.D. program aligns with Olivet Nazarene University’s core vision of graduating students who are: personally developed, professionally ready, and living lives of service to God and humanity. The program is designed for working practitioners who are organizational leaders seeking to advance their careers through scholarship, innovation, and strategic approaches in transforming professional practices, communities, cultures, and society.

The program is 60 credit hours total. There are 48 credit hours of study: 12 credit hours of Dissertation In Practice. All courses are delivered online through the learning management system with emphases on leadership, societal transformation, and research methodologies.  Candidates work on the Dissertation In Practice concurrently within their course schedule. The Dissertation in Practice Manual is provided as a guide through the process.

60 hours


A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) is required to successfully complete the program. Courses with grade lower than B- must be repeated. Dissertation deadlines must be met.

Program learning objectives are as follows:

Critical Thinking and Leadership Skills

  • Critical analysis of frameworks which transform society
  • Application of various leadership and transformational models in professional field

Proficient in Applied Research Skills

  • Application of quantitative and qualitative methods to resolve organizational issues
  • Using technology in research of real-world challenges
  • Examination of a societal issue or challenge resulting in solutions for real world contexts

Writing and Communication Consistent with the Academic Community

  • Writing academic quality papers
  • Analyzing and synthesizing literature and research to make an impact in one’s professional field
  • Contributing to ethical leadership theory and practices through the expansion of research-based application of knowledge

Proficiency as a Practitioner

  • Integrating and applying models of ethical leadership and societal transformation to make a positive impact on society.
  • Applying diversity of thought and perspective from various cultures and societies
  • Practicing self-reflection

Demonstrate a Life of Service

  • Exhibiting an increased understanding of lives of service to God and humanity
  • Emphasizing the individual’s ethical and moral responsibilities to his or her sphere of influence

Course Progression Ed.D. Students

Candidates must successfully complete each course with a B- or higher to remain in the program, however, no more than two grades of B- are permitted in the program.  A candidate earning a non-passing grade or a third grade of B- may repeat a course.  A candidate can repeat two different courses (for a total of two retakes during the Ed.D. program). Only ONE repeat of the same course is allowed.  If a candidate must repeat more than two courses, or has failed the same course twice, the result is automatic administrative withdrawal from the program.

Program Time Limit

Candidates have a maximum of 7 years to complete the program. The typical candidate will finish coursework in 3 years. Candidates have a maximum of 4 years from the date of completion of all content courses other than Dissertation In Practice courses.

Thesis/Dissertation In Practice:

Where appropriate, the candidate submits copies of a thesis meeting standards outlined in “Guidelines for Preparation of Thesis” (available in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies office). Doctoral candidates will submit the Dissertation In Practice meeting standards outlined in the “Dissertation In Practice Manual.” This information is submitted after any required written or oral examination relative to the thesis is complete. The deadline for submission is December 15 for January conferral of degree, February 28 for March conferral, April 15 for May conferral, May 15 for June conferral, June 15 for July conferral, August 1 for August conferral, September 1 for September conferral, and November 1 for November conferral. Theses must be on file in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies office with a minimum grade of B-, unless otherwise stated. Ed.D. candidates must complete all requirements, including Dissertation In Practice, before participating in the Commencement ceremony.

Approved Specializations

Candidates can choose to have one of the following applicable specializations added to their academic transcript at the time of graduation.


Healthcare Leadership and Administration
PK-12 Leadership and Administration
Leadership Ministry
Higher Ed Leadership
Nursing Education Leadership
Criminal Justice Leadership
Organizational Leadership
Healthcare Education

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