Education Specialist in Organizational Leadership

Becoming an Education Specialist will give you the skills necessary to effectively lead in resource development and organizational culture.

ACU Online’s Ed.S. program is designed to equip professionals who are currently serving in positions of leadership within their organization, or for those seeking leadership roles who are not seeking the credential of a terminal degree, but are looking for a way to differentiate themselves. 

Our program is organized around five core competencies: personal development, resource development, collaboration and communication, organizational assessment, and organizational culture. Upon completing the Education Specialist program, you will know not only how to lead, but to lead with purpose based upon the foundation of Christian vocation.

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Meet the Program Director

Dr. Brian Cole is the Program Director and Associate Professor for the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership Program, helping equip leaders to become more effective scholar-practitioners within their organizational contexts, professional industries, and other spheres of influence. Most of Dr. Cole's leadership experiences have been in higher education administration, particularly in the field of Student Development. Dr. Cole received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (Higher Education Specialization) at Western Michigan University, where he researched campus cultures and student activism at Christian colleges and universities. He earned his M.A. from Ball State University, B.A. from Anderson University (IN), and most recently, a certificate in Foundations of Christian Leadership at Duke Divinity School.

Dr. Brian Cole

What outcomes can you expect from your online Ed.S. program?

Upon completion, graduates will be able to: 

  • Integrate insight about their own calling with their ability to influence organizations in a purposeful manner 
  • Create, interpret, and administer practices with regard to resource management in organizational contexts 
  • Design and implement messaging to build shared understanding and quality professional and personal relationships 
  • Apply organizational assessment strategies to their organizational contexts 
  • Demonstrate healthy leadership practices to influence organizational culture

Admission Requirements 

  • Application and $50 processing fee
  • Transcripts showing earned bachelor's and master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university or the equivalent
  • GPA 3.0, probationary status may be granted for lower GPA's
  • Academic writing sample
  • Current resume

For a comprehensive list of admission requirements for online doctorate programs in leadership, please contact a Graduate Advisor.

Degree Details


Higher Education

Conflict Management

Learning with Emerging Technologies

Positive Leadership


Program Length: 2.5 years

Credit Hours: 45

Example Coursework

LEAD 711: Theories and Practices of Effective Leadership

LEAD 714: Self-Assessment in Leadership

LEAD 724: Leadership in Diverse Contexts

LEAD 731: Organizational Change


School of Educational Leadership

Upcoming Start Dates

January 12, 2021

March 9, 2021