People teaching in Christian higher education settings may be able to qualify for admission to the "Current Faculty Track" Ph.D. program. Others in educational ministry roles may qualify for the modular Ed.D. program. Both programs utilize modular courses for four weeks of June and one week of January for 3 (Ed.D.) or 3.5 (Ph.D.) years. Coursework precedes and follows class sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Modular Ed.D. Program?
- How long does it take to complete the modular doctoral programs?
- What is the purpose of the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs?
- What is the difference between the Ph.D. and the Ed.D. programs?
- What is distinctive about these programs?
- Who are the faculty, and how do they relate to the students in the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs?
- What are the major components of the Ed.D. program?
- When are classes held, and what are they like?
- What are the admission requirements?
- Is there a way I can try out the program before completing my application?
What is the Modular Ed.D. Program?
This Ed.D. program, which has the same requirements as our residential program, is provided through a combination of modular course work at Talbot and independent study where the student resides.
How long does it take to complete the modular doctoral programs?
Ph.D. Program: You can complete the necessary coursework in 3.5 years. The candidacy exam takes another semester, and the dissertation can be completed in another two years. This means the doctorate can be completed in as little as six years, if the dissertation proceeds according to schedule.
Ed.D. Program: You can complete the necessary course work in three years. The candidacy exam takes another semester and the dissertation can be completed in another year. This means the degree can be completed in as little as 4.5 years, if the dissertation proceeds according to schedule.
What is the purpose of the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs?
To equip you as a leader and teacher in a variety of educational ministry settings within God's Kingdom — local church, educational institutions, and ministry organizations throughout the world. We are dedicated to striving for excellence in teaching, leadership, and research, in service to God and His kingdom.
What is the difference between the Ph.D. and the Ed.D. programs?
The Ph.D. Program: equips the "Researcher-Teacher" with the research, integration, and teaching skills to contribute to their discipline and prepare others for ministry leadership roles. This is the preferred degree for full-time teaching at most Christian higher education institutions.
The Ed.D. Program: equips the "Leader-Teacher" with skills in research assessment and application to educational ministry concerns. The program provides the same training in critical thinking theological integration, and teaching as the Ph.D. program, but with a more applied focus. This may fit well the needs of ministry leaders and some teachers.
What is distinctive about these programs?
Critical Thinking and Theological Integration: An integrative synthesis of social science data within a Christian world-view perspective is inherent in both of Talbot’s doctoral programs (Ed.D. and Ph.D.). You will have the opportunity to undertake an interdisciplinary study of human development, the teaching-learning process, spiritual formation, issues of leadership and administration, and biblical approaches to Christian education.
Concentrations within the Programs: Draw upon two elective areas to shape your studies at Talbot School of Theology.
- Christian Higher Education Leadership and Administration
- Teaching Foundations and Christian Formation
Diverse University Resources: Biola University offers graduate programs in theology, psychology, and intercultural studies. You have the opportunity to access selected courses and resources from these other programs to supplement your course work.
Respected Faculty Available to Students: Our faculty are respected in their discipline areas and give time to research, writing, and speaking, and they are active on campus and available to meet with you outside of class to discuss course and ministry issues. Regularly scheduled social times with students and faculty provide opportunities to interact and strengthen our sense of community.
Encouragement of Holistic Growth: While the doctoral programs provide knowledge and skills to help you serve as a leader and teacher in educational and ministry settings, we recognize that the formation of the person who serves is most important. Our faculty encourages and promotes both academic excellence and spiritual growth in our students.
Modified Residency Modular Program: The Ph.D. "Current Faculty Track" program is available to qualified applicants who teach part- or full-time in Christian higher education institutions. The Ed.D. "Modular Program" is available to qualified persons in ministry leadership positions as well as current faculty members. Class sessions are held on campus during four weeks in June and one week in January. These tracks in our programs are fully ATS approved.
Who are the faculty, and how do they relate to the students in the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs?
Talbot's doctoral programs are served by several faculty members in the Department of Christian Education. We seek to develop collegial relationships with students, encouraging personal and professional development, both in and outside of class.
Doctoral Program Faculty
- Dr. Orbelina Eguizabal: Professor, Leadership and Administration
- Dr. Octavio Esqueda: Associate Professor, Leadership and Administration
- Dr. Klaus Issler: Professor, Christian Spirituality and Educational Foundations, Educational Process and Design
- Dr. Kevin E. Lawson: Professor, Educational Foundations, Research, Non-profit Management and Leadership
Visiting faculty over the last few years have included: Warren Benson, Kenneth Gangel, Ted Ward, Linda Cannell, Robert Pazmiño, Marlene LeFever, and Donald Ratcliff.
What are the major components of the Ed.D. program?
- Course work: 36 semester units, consisting of 15 units of required courses and 21 units of electives.
- Candidacy Exam: Similar to above, but with some modifications.
- Dissertation: Completion and defense of a dissertation proposal and the dissertation. This has different requirements from the Ph.D. dissertation.
When are classes held, and what are they like?
All of the courses for the Current Faculty Track Ph.D. and modular Ed.D. programs take place on the Talbot campus during four weeks in June and the first week of January each year. Courses generally meet either mornings or both mornings and afternoons (January courses are one week and meet both morning and afternoon.). Classes tend to be small, with 6-15 students participating. Many operate in seminar fashion, encouraging extensive discussion and critical and integrative thinking.
What are the admission requirements?
Full details are available in the Talbot catalog and Ph.D./Ed.D. application packet. In general, the admission requirements include:
- Three years full-time vocational experience in educational ministry with evidence of leadership abilities.
- A Masters degree in Christian or Religious education (MACE, MRE) or its equivalent from an accredited educational institution. Equivalence is defined as a Masters degree of at least 36 units in areas related to the Christian education ministry, including 18 units of graduate Bible and theology. (See the application form or catalog for details on course content areas.)
- Graduate Record Examination (minimum combined verbal and analytic scores of 1000).
- International students whose native language is not English must submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (600+ [pencil version] or 250+ [computer version]), and the Test for Written English (TWE) (4.0 or higher).
- Submission of a sample of scholarly writing (details in the university catalog) and a completed application form, including all requested references, etc.
* Note: For some students, selected theology or Christian education prerequisites can be completed in the first year of course work. See the Ph.D./Ed.D. office for details.
Is there a way I can try out the program before completing my application?
You can apply to take one modular three-unit course during January or June as a "Master's Special Student." This must be discussed with and approved by the program director ahead of time, and assumes that an application for acceptance into one of the programs is underway. Only one course may be taken this way.