Council for Collaboration in Doctoral Education

Council for Collaboration in Doctoral Education



Doctoral education is growing in the CCCU.  At least forty CCCU member schools now offer at least one doctoral program, and within these schools, there are over ninety doctoral programs offered. Many program directors, however, find challenges in helping their institutions understand the unique nature and needs of doctoral-level education.  In September, 2015, the first CCCU doctoral education forum, “Doctoral Programs in the CCCU: Conversation and Collaboration,” was held at Azusa Pacific University.  The event was developed by doctoral program directors from three CCCU member schools (APU, Biola, and Trinity International).  Those who attended expressed strong support for seeing the interaction continue, both through future forums and resource sharing.  This has led to our proposal to establish a new CCCU Council for Collaboration in Doctoral Education.



The purpose of the Council for Collaboration in Doctoral Education will be to foster the development of strong doctoral programs in the CCCU by promoting collaboration among doctoral program directors, doctoral faculty, and those with oversight over doctoral education who wish to benefit from networking with their peers.  Specifically, the Council will:

  1. Facilitate doctoral program directors and faculty learning from one another regarding the common challenges faced in developing, sustaining, and growing strong doctoral programs.
  2. Identify and disseminate information about best practices in doctoral programs, both administrative and educational, through a listserv and networking conferences.
  3. Promote collaboration with one another on research about doctoral education and doctoral students in the CCCU, in order to better inform our campus leaders and the broader academic community (in partnership with the Christian Higher Education Research Council).


Council Makeup and Development

A group of five doctoral program directors and one CCCU liaison (Rick Ostrander) will serve on the Council.  Membership will consist of experienced doctoral program directors who bring a balance in several areas, including degree programs, disciplines of study, geographical region, gender, and race/ethnicity.  Dr. Kevin Lawson from Biola University will serve as the chair.  Initial work will consist of:

  1. Clarify the purpose and vision for collaboration among CCCU doctoral programs.
  2. Develop a strategy for activities to help achieve that purpose and vision.
  3. Develop a model for an ongoing Council, taking into account the optimal size for the group, schedule and facilitation of Council meetings, length of service by group members, budgetary needs and revenue sources for scheduled events, and resources available.
  4. Recruit volunteers among CCCU doctoral programs to carry out the identified activities for effective networking and collaboration (e.g., planning and hosting biennial conferences, developing a listserv, reviewing recent publications on doctoral education issues relevant to CCCU member schools, sharing best practices and resources).


Council Members

Kevin Lawson (chair), Biola University

Laurie Schreiner, Azusa Pacific University

Heewon Chang, Eastern University

James Flynn, Regent University

Benjamin Pyykkonen, Wheaton College


Initial Timeline

  1. May 2016:  Recruit Council members.
  2. Summer and Fall 2016:  Convene the Council, develop initial plans and activities to foster awareness and cooperation among doctoral program educators for 2016-2017.
  3. Plan and implement the next CCCU conference on doctoral education to be held in September 2017 at a school to be determined.