M.Ed. Program Structure

Program Structure: What, When, Where

The Master of Education (MEd) is a 30 credit hour program with two specializations:

  • Educational Leadership (EL)
  • Integrated Curriculum and Instruction (ICI)

The MEd is a low residency program and may be completed in three years. Three weeks are spent on Covenant’s Lookout Mountain campus each summer–the last week in June through the second week in July. Each course consists of three sessions: pre-campus, on-campus, and post-campus.

Pre-campus session: Students are at home; begins in early spring (between mid February and mid April) and includes significant coursework within a variety of assignments: reading of texts and articles, writing, analysis, data gathering, and reflection. Basically, independent directed study. This independent study gives background to, and prepares students for, the on-campus summer session.

On-campus session (summer): Students are at Covenant. The summer session consists of one week on campus per course. Occurring late June through mid-July, classes meet 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. A time of intense study and interaction with faculty and fellow students. Break times and an extended lunch hour are integrated into the daily routine.

Post-campus session: students are back at home to finish up their MEd courses. Projects, exams, research, papers incorporate what students are and have learned to their own school setting.

All in all, students are engaged in coursework about 10 months out of each year in the program. Students enroll in three courses each of the first two years in the program, and four courses the third year.


All students complete the following courses:
EDU 610 - Foundations for Curriculum Development

Year 1, Week 1 - A study of various foundational principles that guide in the selection of goals, content, and materials in the curriculum.

EDU 620 - Introduction to Research

Year 1, Week 2 - An introduction to research methods and designs and their application to educational settings.

EDU 630 - Learning Theory Applied to Teaching

Year 2, Week 1 - A comprehensive survey of current research on learning and its implications for classroom practice.

Edu 650 - The School in Society

Year 3, Week 2 - A study of culture as an integrated whole, the nature of cultural change and the role of the school in both facing and effecting change in society.


Educational Leadership Specialization Courses
EDU 720 - Organizational Leadership

Taken in the first year. This course provides a theoretical and empirical overview of contemporary leadership theories and the essentials of organizational behavior. Students explore assumptions about human nature in leadership and followership, the personality and motivation of the leader, and theories of leadership with an emphasis on organizational complexity, data-driven decision making, and systems thinking.
Attention is given to leadership that is specific to educational settings using a case study approach.
Prerequisites: EDU 610 and 620

EDU 725 - Development of Personnel

Taken in the second year. This course is a study of the instructional leader’s role with faculty and staff. This includes a study of recruitment, selection, and hiring, personnel utilization/staffing, supervision/
personnel evaluation and conferencing. Additionally, the course focuses on the use of job descriptions, staff development, adult learning, the promotion of change, new teacher induction, and professional learning communities.
Prerequisites: EDU 720

EDU 740 - Supervision of Instruction

Taken in the third year. In this course, the educational leader is a key member of an instructional team focused on effective teaching and learning in the classroom. Two aspects of instructional leadership explored in this course:
1. Supervision-those professional community practices that lead to teacher developmental growth;
2. Evaluation-those administrative practices that lead to judgments regarding novice, veteran, and marginal teachers.
Prerequisites: EDU 720

EDU 745 - School Law, Standards, and Policy

Taken in the second year. This course is a study of the legal foundations of education–law, standards, and policy. Constitutionally-based case law is examined for its impact on public schools. Contract law is examined for its impact on private and religious schools. Tort law is examined for an understanding of legal liability. Legal audits assess the meeting of federal and state statutory requirements. State standards are reviewed. An historical, philosophical, and biblical framework for school law is presented.
Prerequisites: EDU 720

EDU 760 - School Business Management

Taken in the third year. This course is a study of the principles and methods of school business management based upon a biblical perspective of leadership, planning, and stewardship of time and resources. As a context for specific professional practice, students study external forces that affect their schools, e.g. globalization, the digital revolution, and other socioeconomic trends. The implications of these forces for professional practice are studied and applied to strategic, instructional, and technology planning, budgeting and finance, compensation, purchasing, facilities capitalization, the strategic allocation of resources, time management, and board relations. To give students direct experience on how technology can contribute to the learning process and can leverage scarce resources and increase ROI, portions of this course are blended with online collaboration tools.
Prerequisites: EDU 720

EDU 785 - Field Experience in Educational Leadership

Capstone course taken during the third year; students begin the work inprevious years. In this course students are required to observe, participate in, and reflect on activities which deepen understanding and develop skills necessary for effective practice. Field-based experiences are intended to extend coursework to
the school setting, providing real-life learning and a critical link between theory and practice. The set of planned experiences involves at least 250 clock hours of participation. Students are required to begin field work during their first year of the program. The requirements for this capstone course include taking the GACE
Educational Leadership Assessment during the final year in the program, and producing a 20-25 page scholarly paper which includes a literature review. The final notebook for this course is due March 1 of the semester the student intends
to graduate. This course is taken as an independent study, and students register for EDU 785 during their final year of study in the program.
Prerequisites: EDU 720


Integrated Curriculum and Instruction Specialization Courses
EDU 712 - Shaping School Curriculum, K-12

Taken in the first year. This course is an application of a biblical world view to the processes and products of curriculum development and assessment for the K-12 school or school system. The course examines the steps in developing a course of study from a school’s mission statement through the assessment process. The issue of state and national standards are addressed. Criteria is developed for the evaluation of textbooks and other curriculum materials.
Prerequisites: EDU 610

EDU 730 - Implementing Instructional Strategies

Taken in the second year. This course is a study of strategies, particularly technological, for planning instruction to create a better learning environment for all students. Instructional strategies are examined in the light of learning principles and other research findings. The class endeavors to embody a biblical view of learners, teachers, curriculum, and the global community in which they all interact.
Prerequisites: EDU 630

EDU 735 - Integrative Approaches to Curriculum

Taken in the second year. This course focuses on the process of designing curricula that are integrated and conceptually focused. Units of instruction are designed which focus on major enduring understandings and principles, and reflect a biblical world view, resulting in instruction that enables classroom teachers to engage their students and help them remember and apply the concepts they learn.
Prerequisites: EDU 610 and 630

EDU 738 - Research and Practice in Teaching Content Fields

Taken in the third year. An in-depth study of the research literature related to the teaching of the various content fields. Emphasis is given to research that has implications for instruction, and to current trends in the design of curricula and teaching practice.
Prerequisites: EDU 620 and 630

EDU 750 - The Nature of Knowledge and Curriculum Integration

Taken in the third year. This course examines the epistemological foundations for an integrated school curriculum. It clarifies the structure of knowledge, the nature of truth, and the place of “knowledge” in the postmodern world. These considerations are brought to bear on the task of integrating an academic curriculum.
Prerequisites: EDU 610

EDU 790 - Project in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction

Capstone course taken during the third year; however, students may begin the work in previous years. In this course, a major project links research to practice within school settings. Projects typically build on plans for integrated curriculum and instruction developed in EDU 735. In EDU 790, those plans are implemented within an appropriate action research framework. EDU 790 constitutes a capstone culminating performance for the ICI specialization and incorporates content and integrates insights from all coursework throughout the program. This course is taken as an independent study in the last year of the program, and the project research is evaluated by two graduate professors.
Prerequisites: EDU 620 and 735