PhD in Christian Leadership – Strategic Ministry Tailor Your Ministry Path


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100% online, 8-week courses

Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

At first glance, the word “strategy” may sound like a business term that is only relevant in a corporate environment. However, strategic planning also plays an important role in Christian ministry because it allows ministry leaders to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to them and equips them to develop practical steps toward accomplishing a certain vision and purpose as a church or organization. That way, they can expand their ministry’s reach, assess the spiritual health of their congregation, and help other people grow in their walk with Christ.

Our 100% online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Christian Leadership – Strategic Christian Ministry is designed to help you gain the research skills, leadership abilities, and biblical knowledge needed to carry out successful ministry efforts. This Christian ministry degree online places an emphasis on scholarly, empirical research with the goal of helping you develop effective solutions to challenges in the field of Christian leadership. You’ll also have the opportunity to study practical aspects of being a leader in Christian education, churches, and parachurch organizations. Within the specialization courses, you can learn how to develop strategic, actionable plans for helping your church or ministry grow and fulfill the Great Commission.

Partner with us and learn how to make wise decisions that can bolster the spiritual health of your church or organization as you serve others through ministry.

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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 – so we know how to create online degree programs that blend flexibility, accessibility, and high-quality academics. Our PhD in Christian Leadership – Strategic Christian Ministry degree is offered 100% online, and the courses have no set login times. At Liberty, you’ll have the freedom to fit your studies into your schedule and maintain your commitments to your job, family, and community while pursuing your degree.

The best part? By choosing 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 courses are taught by knowledgeable faculty who have years of experience in Christian leadership, education, and ministry. With their guidance, you can strengthen your skill set and become better prepared to handle various ministry challenges in your church or organization.

Since our founding in 1971, we’ve made it our mission to Train Champions for Christ – which means we seek to equip dedicated professionals with the knowledge, values, and skills essential for impacting the world. Throughout our online Christian ministry degree program, you’ll have the opportunity to grow in your understanding of God’s Word and develop a strong biblical foundation for your ministry efforts as you study under professors who share your passion for furthering the Kingdom.

This degree in Christian ministry is broken down into 3 main parts: core Christian leadership courses, the strategic Christian ministry specialization, and research courses. Throughout the program, you’ll study a blend of theory and praxis that can help equip you for unique ministry opportunities.

Within the core courses, you’ll study the biblical and theological foundations of leadership and education. You’ll also dive into leadership and management theory, organizational theory and development, group and team dynamics, and the importance of character and ethics in Christian leadership. With such a well-rounded array of courses, you can become better equipped to lead, teach, and conduct research for faith-based organizations.

The strategic Christian ministry specialization can help equip you to lead strategic initiatives that foster spiritual growth, evangelism, and discipleship efforts in churches, ministries, and faith-based organizations. In particular, you will explore characteristics that are essential to discipleship – enabling you to better assess your ministry’s success and biblical faithfulness. You can also learn how to evaluate the health of a local church. Additionally, you’ll explore how to take advantage of new technologies and creative methods to move your church or organization forward – so you can help bring positive change to your congregation.

Lastly, you’ll complete several research courses culminating in a dissertation. Throughout this process, you can strengthen your understanding of effective research methods – particularly as they apply to Christian leadership – and develop your own original research that can help further advances in the field.

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.

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).

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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.