Become the next catalyst.

The Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation from St. Thomas University offers comprehensive training on the evolving skills organizational leaders need to effect change. This fully online doctoral program is for experienced professionals seeking to deepen their vision of strategic leadership, planning, research, and global change, as well as ethics, consulting, and public policy.

This 60-credit doctoral program can be completed in 36 months, including all coursework, the dissertation, and oral defense. You will join a cohort with other change-makers like you, pursuing careers as superintendents* and professors; administrators at the state, federal, and international levels; and educational services directors in non-profit/non-governmental agencies. Together, you will learn from highly experienced instructors in a cross-disciplinary curriculum focused on how to address the changing needs of diverse organizations, use effective team-oriented approaches, and learn unique problem-solving strategies.

This is your place for thinking and solving out of the box, making waves and reshaping the future. If you already hold a master's degree and want to develop the powerful skills to become a leader of change, learn more about this online Ed.D. from St. Thomas.

*Note: The Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation does not lead to licensure for becoming a superintendent.

Program Features and Benefits

Learn in-demand, innovative techniques and develop quality leadership skills with an advanced curriculum focused on refining the skills and knowledge you need to become a forward-thinking, ethically grounded and results-focused leader.
Want to learn more? Download your FREE program brochure now!


Upon completing the online Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation, St. Thomas graduates possess transformational leadership skills, including the abilities to:

  • Respond to the changing needs of diverse organizations
  • Participate in leading innovation in private and public organizations, educational institutions, and systems and non-profit agencies
  • Develop leadership and innovation skills and effective team-oriented approaches to teaching and learning in order to maximize the performance achievements of all learners
  • Demonstrate scholarly behaviors such as reflection and problem solving with skills for designing, critiquing and implementing research relevant to effective practice


St. Thomas University’s Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation is a 60 credit-hour online degree program, plus dissertation and defense. Courses are seven weeks in length, and degree completion is possible in less than three years.

Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation Course List (60 Credit Hours)

Leadership and Innovation
60 credits
ELI 803 (3)
Information Management

This course will prepare students to use a variety of information management systems applications in management and administration. Students will become familiar with data communications, the Internet, multimedia other forms of technology and the applications of each to the field of leadership and management.

RES 820 (3)
Quantitative Research

This course examines theory and practice in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of experimental, quasi-experimental and survey procedures for research and evaluation of programs. Development of basic skills required in the understanding, planning and executing of a research study will be covered.

RES 821 (3)
Qualitative Research

This course explores the methods and procedures used in qualitative research. Topics include the philosophical basis for the method, the conceptualization of research questions, and selection of appropriate research designs, data collection data, manual and computerized data analysis, and the drawing of inferences.

ELI 801 (3)
Theory and Practice of Leadership

In this course, students will analyze Eastern and Western theories and styles of leadership. Follower motivation, sources of power, change processes, group dynamics, and the characteristics and abilities associated with effective leadership will also be examined. In keeping with the mission of St. Thomas University, students in this course will explore the diversity of leadership theory and the impact of diversity on leadership.

ELI 813 (3)
Leading a Learning Organization

Organizations are systems within which humans are continually developing structures that influence their action. This course helps students to become designers and members of organizations which engage in practices that encourage organizational learning. Students will examine ways that organizations create learning cultures, as well as leadership strategies that foster growth, creativity, and risk-taking while managing innovation, change, and future planning.

ELI 805 (3)
Strategic Leadership and Global Change

This course will prepare students to restructure and create empowering environments in their organizations. A body of research will be reviewed to provide an empirical framework that can be used to draw conclusions about strategic management and leadership in organizations striving to provide an empowering environment in the 21st Century.

ELI 815 (3)
Public Policy Leadership

This course examines various approaches to developing and managing public policy. It is intended primarily for leaders who are department heads, policy developers, managers and executive officers in business, higher education, schools, school boards, government and statutory agencies responsible for formulating or managing policies.

DIS 890 (2)
Dissertation Benchmark Plan

In this Dissertation Benchmark the students will begin working on their Dissertation Plan.  It will include outlining the following: 1) Dissertation Title; 2) Topic Statement; 3) Statement of the Problem; 4) Research Purpose; 5) Research Questions; 6) Literature Review Topics; 7) Need for the Study and 8) Methodology.

ELI 804 (3)
Management of Crisis and Change

Drawing on a five-phase model of the change process, this course uses real-world examples to examine the discovery, design, development, implementation, and maintenance of educational innovations and improvements.

ELI 808 (3)
Human Resources Development

Human resource management belongs in all organizations. In the 21st Century, human resource management has become an active participant in charting the strategic course an organization must take, in order to remain competitive, productive and efficient. The course examines the skills an HR manager must employ to be an effective diagnostician and problem solver.

DIS 891 (2)
Dissertation Benchmark I

Dissertation Benchmark I is where the students will begin to write Chapter 1 of their Dissertation.  The sections that will be covered in this course will include the following topics:  Introduction to the Problem; Background, Context, and Theoretical Framework; Statement of the Problem; Purpose of the Study; Research Questions; Rationale, Relevance, and Significance of the Study; Nature of the Study; Definition of Terms; Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations; and Organization of the Remainder of the Study.

DIS 892 (2)
Dissertation Benchmark II

Dissertation Benchmark II is specifically designed to guide students through developing Chapter Two to include the following topics: Introduction; Theoretical Framework; Review of the Research Literature and Methodological Literature; Review of Research Regarding [the Topic/Research Problem]; Review of Methodological Issues; Synthesis of Research Findings; Critique of Previous Research; and Chapter 2 Summary.

ELI 809 (3)
Innovation and Leadership

Innovation and Entrepreneurship revolves around the concept that innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship; and that it is organized, systematic rational work. Sources for innovative opportunities are many and varied and are found within the changing environment. The course is designed to provide a deep grounding in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship to students whose goal is to play a leading role in an innovation-driven environment.

ELI 819 (3)
Managing Performance

Managing Performance or Performance Management includes organizational activities that ensure that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner. It can focus on the performance of an organization, a department, an employee, customers or a process. This course enables students to assess the tools used to effectively manage performance in organizations.

DIS 893 (2)
Dissertation Benchmark III

Dissertation Benchmark III is designed to guide students on how to systematically search the literature, write the Literature Review of the doctoral dissertation. In this continued part of this course, students will write the Chapter 3 to include the following topics: Introduction to Chapter 3; Research Methodology; Research Design; Target Populations, Sampling Method and Related Procedures.  Instrumentation and/or Sources of Data: Data Collection; Field Test /Pilot Test; Instrument Validity/Reliability: Pilot Study; Operationalization of Variables; Data Analysis Procedures; Limitations of the Research Design; Internal Validity; External Validity; Expected Finding; Ethical Issues; Researcher’s Position Statement; and Summary of Chapter 3.  Students will conclude the Dissertation Benchmark with a compressive draft of Chapter 1, 2, and 3.  Students will also have a completed IRB Proposal. When students successfully complete the comprehensive Chapter 1, 2, and 3 of the Dissertation and the IRB proposal, they will be deemed to have passed the Dissertation Proposal Defense and may proceed to complete the rest of the dissertation according the University’s dissertation policy.

ELI 806 (3)
Accountability in Leadership

A study of the significant issues embedded in questions of fiscal and economic accountability in Leadership Management beginning with a treatment of personal ethical development, moving to the practice of Leadership Management, the issues of pluralism, and concluding with an ethical approach to decision making in these areas.

ELI 807 (3)
Ethics and Governance

The course is concerned with issues of ownership, control, ethics and accountability. It employs a stakeholder management framework, emphasizing business’ social and ethical responsibilities to both external and internal stakeholder groups. It illustrates how ethical or moral considerations are included in the public issues facing organizations and the decision making process of managers.

ELI 814 (3)
Cross-Cultural Relations

This course presents an analysis of major contemporary social problems with particular attention given to controversial issues that are common in the work place. Included in this course will be the emphasis of theory, structure, and the effective practice of diversity and its application as a director, manager, employee, student and faculty of academic organization who are involved in a diversified workforce.

DIS 894 (2)
Dissertation Benchmark IV

Dissertation Benchmark IV is designed to guide students on how to write the Chapter 4 to include the following topics: Introduction; Description of the Sample; Summary of the Results; Detailed Analysis; and Summary.

ELI 817 (3)
Managing Social Media in Organizations

Social media for all organizations consist of a range of web-based applications that allow anyone to disseminate information to online communities. The main focus of this course is for students to assess the role of a social media presence in creating an online social or extended community for an organization’s current clients; employees and friends, promote an awareness of the organization among potential clients, expand the mission of the organization and build an identity and brand image.

ELI 816 (3)
Consulting Practices

This course enables students to assess real-world concerns and challenges, and using their knowledge, skills and aptitudes, evaluate strategies and solutions to resolve the challenges. The course also analyzes the consulting domain as it relates to internal and external barriers of organizations. Students will analyze, apply, synthesize, and evaluate consulting principles and practices through various instructional techniques. Additionally, students will evaluate the consulting process through case studies and research. The role of the consultant, project management concepts, and the application of key consulting methods and techniques will be evaluated.

DIS 895 (2)
Dissertation Benchmark V

Dissertation Benchmark V is designed to guide students on how to write the Chapter 5 to include the following topics: Introduction; Summary of the Results; Discussion of the Results; Discussion of the Results in Relation to the Literature; Limitations of the Results; Summary of Findings and Conclusion; Implications of the Results for Practice; Discussion of the Results; Discussion of the Results in Relation to the Literature; Limitations of the Results; Implications of the Results for Practice; Recommendations for Future Research; and the Conclusion.


The Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation is excellent preparation for a wide variety of organizational leadership roles within the education and non-profit sectors. Careers for our graduates include:

  • School superintendents, directors, and supervisors*
  • Administrators in state, federal, and international agencies
  • Business leaders and managers
  • Directors and administrators of state, federal, and international agencies
  • Professors and administrators in institutions of higher education
  • Directors and supervisors of educational services in non-profit agencies and non-governmental organizations

*Note: the Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation does not lead to licensure for becoming a superintendent.