Three foundational areas of professional competency provide the academic focus of the program: developing a research mindset and skill base; thinking as an educational leader; and theologically reflecting about educational issues against a broadly cultural and missiological framework. The intentional linkages between the PhD (Educational Studies) and the PhD (Intercultural Studies) provide opportunity to relate principles from theology and the social sciences to education, mission, and leadership.
The international EDS learning community practices a fundamental commitment to and reliance on God’s truth as revealed in the Bible and Jesus Christ, God’s redemptive purposes in Christ, and the sustaining work of the Holy Spirit. The EDS community seeks to act on the reality that all persons are created in God’s image. Participants engage one another professionally, academically, and personally. They share resources and ideas and consult one another concerning specific issues and situations related to their ministry. The program style is collaborative rather than competitive, and mutual respect for colleagues and the diversity of perspectives is evident.
Learning is seen as lifelong, formal and nonformal in context, linear and narrative in approach, and participatory. The interdependence of theory and practice, the processes of dialogue and disciplined inquiry, and the integration of theology and the social sciences are viewed as normative. Faculty are committed to the effective progress and completion of the participants and, through the experiences of the program, seek to foster the cultivation of sustainable habits in thought, spirit, relationship, and service.
The Learning Culture
The appropriate outcome of doctoral education is seen to be the development of refined, sustainable habits of scholarship and professional leadership. Participants are expected to enter fully into the community of scholarship: giving and receiving ideas, information, sources and materials; entering fully into seminar discussions; and participating constructively in open hearings—their own and their colleagues’ oral comprehensive examination, presentation of the research proposal, and dissertation defense.
Participants are expected to read and research with a view to making a contribution to the literature of the field and to ongoing discourse—with doctoral colleagues and other academic professionals. Much that is written in the program should be considered as potentially publishable. Participants are encouraged to use the network of seminary and university libraries in the Chicago area and to engage the members of this international community in discussion about research and writing projects. Written work at the doctoral level has moved well beyond typical term paper preparation. Participants are expected to read and research with a view to making a contribution to the literature of the field and to ongoing discourse— with doctoral colleagues and other academic professionals. Much that is written in the program should be considered as potentially publishable. Participants are expected to use the network of seminary and university libraries in the Chicago area and to engage the members of this international community in discussion about research and writing projects. In this way, the program provides opportunity for participants to broaden their perspectives beyond their own traditions and cultures.
The dissertation research design that undergirds the PhD/EDS program presumes that a substantial base of descriptive research is necessary to generate hypotheses that will ultimately be explored through experimental studies. It is our perspective that experimental research conducted without a substantial base in description and inquiry is impoverished. Participants in the TEDS PhD/EDS program have generated a substantial body of dissertations, most of which have been descriptive or theological/historical in format. We will continue to encourage descriptive research as the primary mode of inquiry, but with appropriate guidance experimental studies could be built on these emerging categories of research findings.
The preferred learning environment is one that fosters a community in which all participants, students and faculty alike, are engaged in further development. It is also inherent in the program’s philosophy of cooperative learning that healthy interpersonal relationships enhance the academic endeavor. Therefore, faculty and participants, along with family and friends, are invited to take advantage of scheduled and spontaneous opportunities for social fellowship.
What will I study?
Your doctoral work will be comprised of seminars, independent study, nonformal experiences, and dissertation research and writing. Your program of study will include the following: