PhD Spiritual Formation Degree
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)
Class Type
100% online, 8-week courses
Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Jan 15, 2024
Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC

Strengthen the Christian Community and Foster Spiritual Growth with Liberty’s Doctorate in Spiritual Formation Online

In today’s hyper-individualistic culture, we need to bring people into the Christian community and help facilitate their spiritual growth and formation. Liberty University’s 100% online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Christian Leadership – Spiritual Formation is a research degree designed for leaders in all aspects of Christian churches, organizations, and schools. Through empirical research, you can learn how to address various educational and ministerial challenges. You’ll also explore how biblical principles relate to education and leadership philosophy, theory, and practice.

The spiritual formation specialization can help you pursue the goals you have for your church or organization. By completing your Christian spiritual formation degree at Liberty, you can develop a historical perspective of spiritual formation and learn new ways to foster spiritual growth in your church and community. In addition, you can learn how to use Christian social networks to reach non-Christians.

Our courses can help you prepare to make a difference in the world, and your dissertation will help you refine your problem-solving skills as you conduct scholarly research to contribute to the current knowledge base.

*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.

Why Choose Liberty’s PhD in Christian Leadership – Spiritual Formation Program Online?

Liberty’s mission of Training Champions for Christ is exemplified in this degree. This PhD is considered an empirical research doctorate. You will have the opportunity to find solutions to educational and ministerial research problems as you complete your dissertation.

With our online PhD in Christian Leadership program, you can further your education from the comfort of your own home or office. Our 100% online format allows you to study when and where it is convenient for you. This allows you to pursue your educational goals as you stay active in your family, job, and community.

Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity is uniquely equipped to provide the training you need to explore new career opportunities. And, unlike many online Bible colleges and seminaries, Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Our programs have met rigorous academic standards and accreditation requirements — so you can pursue your degree with confidence.

Military Tuition Discount

Lead your field with the doctoral degree you want — at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only $300/credit hour. Find out how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity and reach the pinnacle of your profession — for less.

What Will You Learn in Our Online Doctorate in Christian Leadership – Spiritual Formation Degree?

This degree is broken down into 3 main parts: core Christian leadership courses, research courses, and the spiritual formation specialization. By synthesizing this knowledge into a dissertation focused on the application of these 3 parts, you can help produce solutions to educational and ministerial research problems.

Our core Christian leadership courses will first focus on the biblical foundations of leadership and education. You can also gain skills in organizational theory and development as well as current and past theories of management and leadership. As the leader of a ministerial or educational organization, you can benefit from learning about group and team dynamics as well as academic leadership.

Through the spiritual formation specialization, you can gain a broader perspective as you examine the historical and biblical roots of spiritual formation. You will examine how to foster spiritual growth and strengthen Christian communities, especially in challenging academic and ministerial settings. Additionally, you can learn how to use Christian social networks to evangelize to non-Christians and improve the spiritual strength of the church.

Your Christian leadership courses will culminate in doctoral-level research for practical application in diverse educational, organizational, and ministry contexts. Your PhD dissertation gives you the opportunity to synthesize the knowledge gained throughout the program. You can apply advanced research methods learned in the Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Leadership program to help contribute to the general body of knowledge in spiritual formation.

Featured Courses

Degree Information
Admission Requirements

Highlights of Our Christian Spiritual Formation Degree

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America. Earning your online Christian doctoral degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • 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 our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.
  • To continue our mission of providing affordable education, electronic textbooks are included for all divinity courses* at no cost to you. As a full-time student, this could save you an estimated $800-2,000 per year on textbooks!
  • You can complete the PhD in Christian Leadership degree online in as little as 2.5 years.
  • As a John W. Rawlings School of Divinity PhD student, you can receive a block rate of $2,750 when taking 7-15 credit hours per semester. This can save you up to $6,000 per semester!**
  • As a Christian leader, you can benefit from networking opportunities with other professionals in the program from across the country.

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

**Credits taken below 7 and above 15 credit hours are charged at the part-time rate.

PhD in Christian Leadership – Spiritual Formation Online Degree Information

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Potential Career Opportunities for Graduates of the Doctorate in Christian Leadership – Spiritual Formation Program

  • Christian education administrator
  • Christian educator
  • Christian ministry director
  • Christian school principal or president
  • Church administrator
  • Church discipleship coordinator
  • Curriculum coordinator
  • Director of spiritual formation
  • Discipleship training leader
  • Spiritual formation specialist

Admission Requirements for Our PhD in Christian Leadership and Management

A regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a 3.0 or above GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Previous education showing at least 15 graduate hours of Bible, Theology, or Leadership courses
  • School of Divinity Questionnaire
  • Writing sample
  • Departmental approval
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses documentation verifying military status is required.