PhD in Christian Leadership – Ministry Leadership Shape the Church’s Future


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100% online, 8-week courses

Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

As a ministry leader, you have an important responsibility to serve and foster the spiritual growth of the people in your congregation. Whether you work in a church or ministry-related organization, it’s essential that you learn to lead with skill, integrity, and humility so you can provide godly guidance and support to the people in your care.

With Liberty’s 100% online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Christian Leadership – Ministry Leadership, you’ll explore the practical and theoretical aspects of overseeing ministry efforts. Throughout this program, you can develop the skills you need to become a leader in Christian education, local churches, nonprofit work, and more. This PhD program is specifically designed to help you apply your own original research to solve various problems in the field of Christian leadership. By studying a blend of theory and praxis, you can prepare to make a greater impact in your church or organization.

Partner with us and fulfill your unique calling as you pursue your PhD in Christian Leadership – Ministry Leadership at Liberty.

*The PhD in Applied Apologetics, PhD in Bible Exposition, PhD in Christian Leadership, and PhD in Practical Theology are not approved by the Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools but are approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Ranked in the Top 10% of’s Best Online Schools in America

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Private Nonprofit University
  • 600+ Online Degrees
  • No Standardized Testing for Admission
  • Transfer in up to 75% of an Undergrad Degree
  • Transfer in up to 50% of a Grad/Doctoral Degree

Liberty has been a pioneer in distance learning since 1985. A lot has changed since then, but our commitment to offering a flexible, affordable, and high-quality education has not. We’ve designed our PhD in Christian Leadership – Ministry Leadership degree with your success in mind. This program is 100% online, and the courses have no set login times – meaning you’ll have the freedom to earn your degree on your schedule and easily access your course materials whenever you need them.

Throughout your PhD program, you’ll study under professors who have years of experience in Christian ministry. They are excited to come alongside you and share their expertise with you as you seek to become a more effective ministry leader. Our faculty will also provide valuable guidance as you work through the dissertation process, so you can be confident as you conduct your own research and seek to address various challenges in the field.

At Liberty, you won’t have to sacrifice quality for flexibility. We are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Additionally, our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America. You can rest assured that we’ve taken the time to develop a rigorous, top-notch curriculum that can help you stand out to employers as you prepare to take the next step in your career.

As you complete this online degree in ministry, you’ll explore several core topics in Christian leadership so you can be better equipped to serve with excellence in academia, Christian education, parachurch organizations, and local churches. Some of the topics you’ll study include biblical and theological foundations of leadership and education, organizational theory and development, leadership and management theory, and theological anthropology.

You’ll also examine group theory, team dynamics, and teaching and learning theory within the context of faith-based organizational leadership. By studying these and other essential Christian leadership topics, you can prepare to help carry out the Great Commission as you minister to those around you.

Within the ministry leadership specialization, you’ll explore how to develop and oversee effective ministries that help foster spiritual growth in the church and beyond. Specifically, you can learn how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate principles of entrepreneurial leadership as you develop strategic initiatives within faith-based organizations
  • Foster individual and corporate spiritual formation in the body of Christ
  • Oversee and implement needed changes that allow churches and organizations to grow
  • Take advantage of the opportunities presented by new technologies, creative methods, and strategic initiatives to move churches and organizations forward
  • Use social networks to evangelize to non-Christians and facilitate edification in the church

Lastly, you will complete an in-depth sequence of research courses culminating in a dissertation. As you research, write, and defend your dissertation, you’ll have the opportunity to examine various challenges in the field of Christian leadership and develop original research to help address these issues.

Degree Completion Plan (PDF)

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Not sure what to choose?

Speak to one of our admissions specialists to help you choose the program that best fits your needs.

Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for the majority of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.

To continue our mission of providing affordable education, electronic textbooks are provided for many divinity courses* all for one convenient fee.

*Electronic textbooks are not provided for courses that fall under departments outside the School of Divinity.

Doctoral Divinity Block Rate (7-15 credit hours) $2,750
Doctoral Divinity Part Time (0-6.99 or over 15 credit hours) $395/Credit
Military Doctoral Divinity Block Rate (7-15 credit hours) $2,700
Military Doctoral Divinity Part Time (0-6.99 or over 15 credit hours)* $395/Credit

*Eligible current and former military service members and their spouses may qualify for a special rate of $300/credit hour (learn more).

Ready to Apply?

Submit your application online or over the phone.


Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe.

Who May Qualify?

  • Active Duty
  • Reserve/National Guard
  • Veterans/Retirees
  • Spouses of Service Members and Veterans/Retirees
  • Current Department of Defense Employees

Available Benefits:

  • Discounted divinity block rate – $2,700 per semester*
  • Additional discount for veterans who service in a civilian capacity as a First Responder
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)

*Credits taken below 7 and above 15 credit hours per semester are charged at the part-time rate of $395/credit hour.

Eligible current and former service members and their spouses may qualify for a special rate of $300/credit hour (learn more), but the $300/credit hour doctoral military rate cannot be combined with the First Responder Discount.