The Doctor of Education in Intercultural Education


Program Overview

The purpose of the Doctor of Education in Intercultural Education (EdD) is to equip persons for educational leadership positions in global intercultural settings in teaching, training, and research. This includes formal teaching in colleges and/or seminaries to informal or non-formal training of Christian workers in intercultural and global settings. There is a growing need for educational leadership in the “Global South”—the regions of Asia, Africa, and Central/South America. The center of gravity of Christianity is shifting from Europe and North America to these emerging societies and nations. In light of this global trend, and in keeping with Western Seminary’s mission to provide “with and for the church advanced training for strategic ministry roles,” the EdD in Intercultural Education provides specialized training for educational leaders in these growing regions of the world. The EdD program is research-based and includes two research courses: one covers the proposal draft and the other on research design.

Program Learning Outcomes

The program goals include mastery of disciplines in intercultural education disciplines, graduate-level understanding of theological disciplines, growth in Christian maturity and integrity, and increased capacity to engage in educational administration, teaching, training, and research.

Program learning outcomes:

  • Students demonstrate a theological understanding of the issues and practices of educational ministry.
  • Students demonstrate doctoral-level research, communicating effectively in both written and oral forms.
  • Students demonstrate competence in the understanding of local and global leadership.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to engage in gospel-centered cross-cultural leadership.
  • Students carry out the pedagogical task of teaching and training others for local and global leadership.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Doctor of Education in Intercultural Education program must possess an Association of Theological Schools’ (ATS) accredited MDiv or a comparable two-year master’s degree of 48 credits or longer in appropriate missiological and theological disciplines with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and present at least two years of effective intercultural ministry experience relevant to the proposed EdD program focus.

Residence Requirements

Of the 42 credits required for the EdD, a minimum of 6 credits should be taken in residence study at Western’s Portland campus through intensive modules. (Possible exceptions might be made for international students and internationally-located students.)

Degree Requirements

The EdD program includes a total of 42 credits and consists of core modules (24 credits), specialization electives (6 credits), research methods (6 credits), dissertation coursework (6 credits), and comprehensive examination (no credits).

The program is usually undertaken as a series of short periods of intensive study and interaction, followed by longer periods of reflection and application to ministry in the global context of educational service. On a full-time study basis, the equivalent of a two-year period is necessary to complete the doctorate. It is understandable to spread this over a longer period of time to ensure excellence in scholarship and integration with ministry. Much flexibility in scheduling is possible, with periods of residence at the Portland campus possible from one week to one year. Two of the doctoral courses are offered online; the remainder are one-week residential seminars. Four components are included in the doctoral program: program focus, competency modules, comprehensive examination, and dissertation.

Program Focus: The program focus expresses the student’s opportunities or concerns in ministry. It may be a fundamental question of understanding the group being reached or identifying ministry opportunity and formulating a strategy for educational ministry and/or the development of leadership training for a particular people-group.

All students are expected to sign a learning contract that includes statements of the program focus, a preliminary timetable for completion of each program requirement, and formation of the student’s Doctoral Committee.

Competency Modules: Doctoral courses are designed around lectures, seminar presentations, practical assignments, and fieldwork. In addition to core courses, each student may choose a specific educational area for specialization by using six credits of electives.

General Education and Specialization Studies

All students are required to receive general education in intercultural education by earning 24 credits.

Each student will be guided by his/her program focus throughout the EdD program. Development in an area of specialization is facilitated by six credits of electives, six credits of research methodology, and six credits of dissertation research.

Comprehensive Examination: The written comprehensive examination is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding and application of intercultural and educational insights to their program focus.

Dissertation: The EdD dissertation is the result of research, reading, reflection, and fieldwork centered around the program focus. It contains recognition and clarification of a major topic in intercultural education and a process to research the topic at hand, leading to implementation in ministry and career advancement. The dissertation brings together work done in the competency modules and the refining of thought through interaction with faculty and field research.

Doctor of Education in Intercultural Education Curriculum Plan

Core Modules: 24 credits
IE701 Intercultural Education 3
IE702 Cultural Anthropology 3
IE704 Intercultural Leadership and Mentorship 3
IE705 Intercultural Communication for Education 3
IE706 History, Philosophy, and Theology of Intercultural Education 3
IE707 Learning, Teaching, and Technology in Intercultural Education 3
IE708 Transformational Change and Intercultural Discipleship 3
IE709 Contextualization 3
Specialization Modules: 6 credits
Students will choose electives in an area of specialization in consultation with the program director. (6)
Research Courses: 12 credits
IE703 Proposal and Research Design 3
IE710 Integrated Research Methodology 3
Dissertation and Comprehensive Examination: 6+ credits
IS790 Proposal and Comprehensive Exam 1
IS791 Dissertation Research & Writing 5+