female graduate student with short hair walking outside on saint joseph's university's campus

Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling and Social Work

Guided by the values of discernment, continuous improvement, social justice, democratic ideals, service with and for others, and cura personalis (care for the whole person), the educational leadership, counseling and social work department is dedicated to cultivating future educators, administrators and leaders.

Programs offered in educational leadership, counseling and social work focus on developing scholar-practitioners. Our graduates are informed transformational leaders who apply theoretical knowledge to their professional practice. Guided by interdisciplinary scholarship, professional learning experiences, and conversations across difference, program offerings aim to advance equity for all persons. Mindfulness, compassion, and purpose remain salient characteristics reflected in our graduates.


Explore Our Department

Encarna Rodríguez, Ph.D., in the Barbelin Courtyard

Faculty members are experts in both theory and practice and have national and state reputations in research, community engagement and teaching.


A Values-Based 
Doctoral Degree


The Interdisciplinary Doctor of Education Program for Educational Leaders (IDEPEL) creates leaders who are focused on inclusive cultures, social justice and equity-minded change. Four core values — community, academic expectations and cura personalis, scholar-practitioner and social justice — ground our work.

Our graduates have completed dissertations on a number of important topics including the achievement gap, student-athlete experience and childhood bullying. Our department also hosts an annual conference featuring research presentations and panels and table discussions led by education leaders and experts.

Graduates from the program? Update your information using our directory update form.


Department News

The Jesuit principles that I learned and internalized at Saint Joseph’s give me an outlook on the barriers faced in urban public education as opportunities for me to be transformative and make a difference.”

francis thompson '17
Nyshawana Francis-Thompson '17

deputy chief of curriculum and instruction, School District of Philadelphia

The Terrance Furin Scholarship

The Terrance Furin Scholarship provides tuition (3 credits) to a first-year student in the Interdisciplinary Doctor of Education Leadership program based on academic merit, financial need, and a commitment to social justice. 

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