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Educational Leadership & Administration (MS)|Online

Centered on a biblical worldview, the online M.S. in Educational Leadership & Administration is designed for Christian educators who are interested in taking on a leadership role in their school or district.

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Why Educational Leadership & Administration M.S.?

For educators who want to become a principal or administrator at the master’s level, Cairn’s School of Education offers an online MS in Educational Leadership & Administration designed to develop the management, leadership, and advanced instructional skills needed to become an educational leader.

This specialization provides the legal, financial, data, and personnel management knowledge necessary to meet the daily challenges of school administration as well as the instructional leadership skills required to improve student outcomes.

Students interested in obtaining Principal certification can pursue certification concurrently with the MSELA program. Students who complete the masters program may be eligible for Principal (all levels) certification through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Students who complete an internship and fulfill the PA testing requirements may be eligible for Principal certification (PK-12) through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Additional certification, program entry, and exit requirements can be obtained by contacting Graduate Admissions.

Curriculum Intro

The online MS in Educational Leadership & Administration program has been designed with input from our expert faculty in the School of Education, ensuring you graduate with the in-demand skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. The program requires 18 credits from the core curriculum courses, 15 credits from specialization courses, and 6 credits from Bible/theology. View a sample curriculum sheet for a snapshot of the courses you will complete.

M.S. in Educational Leadership & Administration from Cairn

Biblical Integration

Cairn University is committed to the centrality of Christ and the Word of God and is reflected in the curriculum and instruction. While you will study the same educational leadership concepts you would expect from any quality master's in educational leadership program, all instruction is grounded in the timeless Truth of God’s Word. No matter what your intended career path or field of study, Cairn is committed to helping educators think about their current and future work in education through a biblical worldview.

Academic Opportunity

As this is a licensure program, we are unable to offer CPL. Advance standing may be granted for Bible or theology credits earned at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts college or university, or seminary. Credits will be granted on a course by course basis.

Experienced Faculty

Our online courses are taught by faculty members who have experience working as principals and are committed to your professional and spiritual growth.


Complete coursework anywhere through our asynchronous course design, reinforced by substantive faculty engagement. Cairn Online enrolls new students in early September, October, January, early March, May and early July. A term is typically just 7 weeks long. Start when you’re ready, instead of rushing (or waiting) for the traditional semester enrollment. Students are eligible to enroll up to two weeks prior to the upcoming term.

Hands-On Education

Grounded in best practices and current research, this unique program for scholar-practitioners provides you with opportunities to apply concepts and coursework in the field while working closely with licensed, practicing principals as mentors. Courses with EDL or SPE prefixes each require 15-18 hours of field placement in a school setting.

more Details

Get an inside look at our Educational Leadership & Administration M.S. Program

There are over 70 unique programs at Cairn to choose from! Not sure if this is the best program for you? Here are some more details to help you decide.

Required Credits: 39

Curriculum Highlights: 

    • EDL 741 Principalship PK-12
    • EDL 742 Data Analysis and School Improvement
    • EDL 743 Financial and Business Mgmt
    • EDL 744 School Law
    • EDL 745 Org Theory/Team Building
  • Principal
  • Academic director or supervisor
  • Assistant principal
  • Superintendent
  • Educational consultant

NC-SARA Approved InstitutionCairn Online has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which regionally oversees postsecondary online education.

Additional Accreditation Information

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Connect With Us


Meet Our Faculty

John Furrow

John Furrow

Chair, MS in Educational Leadership and Administration; Faculty, School of Education

Dr. John Furrow has been in education since 1987, including over 25 years in administration. In addition to serving in a variety of teaching and administration roles in K–12 Christian schools, he has also been a guest speaker at numerous ACSI events and a team leader for ACSI accreditation visits. Currently, he is a member of the ACSI Southeast Accreditation Commission.

His wife, Beverley ’86, is an NILD Educational Therapist. Together, they have three children: Lindsay, Caleb, and Joshua.

stacey bose

Stacey Bose

Dean, Professor, School of Education; Acting Chair, MS in Educational Leadership & Administration

Dr. Stacey Bose has been involved in public, private, and international education for over 25 years both in the United States and abroad in the countries of South Korea, Brazil, Panama, and Ecuador. She is certified in the State of Pennsylvania as an elementary teacher, reading specialist, and K-12 principal. Dr. Bose has served in a variety of educational roles over the years prior to entering the field of higher education full-time. These roles include elementary teacher, reading specialist, K-12 curriculum and instruction coordinator, assistant principal, accreditation consultant, and adjunct professor. Before joining the faculty at Cairn University, Dr. Bose spent four years in the School of Education at Liberty University. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses residentially and online at Liberty University, Dr. Bose held the positions of director of the reading specialist program and director of accreditation.

Dr. Bose and her husband served as missionaries with the Bible Fellowship Board of Missions for 18 years. She has been married to her husband Scott for 25 years. They have three children: Kaylee, Emalina, and TJ.

Dr. Bose’s life verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “If any man be in Christ, He is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” She is passionate about using the experiences and gifts the Lord has given her to train educators to “walk a different path” and make a positive impact as they serve in public, private, and international schools all around the world.

Cairn Online Frequently Asked Questions​

The tuition for post-secondary education has become expensive in general. However, Cairn Online programs rank amongst the most affordable online bachelor’s and master’s programs. While the tuition costs vary by program level, the rate is typically $425 per credit or 12K per year for A.A. and B.S. programs and $300-$725 per credit for graduate programs. 

The current tuition rates are available from this page. Scholarships and financial aid are also available. 

Currently there are over 6 million online learners in the United States, and those numbers are growing every day. Online degrees that have regional accreditation are held to the same standards as traditional universities, ensuring that students earn a valuable degree that will prepare them with the skills and credentials for their career. Do research to find an online degree that is accredited and reputable, such as those offered at Cairn University.

Cairn Online courses based on Cairn’s 100+ years tradition of excellence in biblical education. Our on faculty has carefully designed them taking into consideration what works best for the online learner. The modular design and asynchronous delivery enable you to complete your studies while you pursue your career, ministry and spend time with your family.

Courses typically contain seven units and are delivered in 7-week terms*. Each unit contains 5-7 modular activities. Each learning activity includes instructional videos accompanied by reflections, quizzes, discussion forums and other assessments. Courses also utilize adaptive learning technologies such as Cerego for long-term retention of concepts and VoiceThread for enhanced collaboration.

The asynchronous delivery provides flexibility around your daily busy schedule. In most courses, interactive activities are typically due by Wednesday while the rest of the unit’s work is due by Sunday night. The MBA, M.A. in Music and Criminal Justice programs use the 7RD2 process and require the completion of certain activities daily to optimize learning.

Our own Cairn faculty intentionally participate in the course throughout the week to provide you with an incarnational experience.

*Few capstone courses are intentionally offered in 14 weeks to optimize student learning.

A.A. programs usually take 2 years and B.S. and B.A. programs typically take 3-4 years to complete.

Graduate programs vary in length by program. As an example, Cairn’s traditional MBA typically takes 20 months to complete but then there is also the accelerated One-Year MBA that you can complete in 12 months.

If you are looking to complete your program sooner, you can consider taking more 7-week courses at a time. 

All courses are developed by one or more course developers and taught by our own faculty. The instructors are also intentionally involved in the course throughout the week by providing direction in the course activities, participating in the forum discussions, grading the student work and providing substantive feedback. Most courses also offer optional office hours weekly via Zoom or similar video conferencing tools.

Our instructional design team works very closely with the course developers and carefully plans the courses to balance the technology requirements. Most courses use the eLearning platform for hosting the course materials, Panopto for video capture and storage, VoiceThread for enhanced discussion forums, and Cerego for adaptive learning. Zoom is used at times for virtual office hours. These sessions are optional.

Except for the Hebrew and Greek language courses for the B.S. in Biblical Studies program, typically there are no required meeting times for the completing the course activities.  

The course transfer depends on where you are transferring from, and what program you are transferring to. If you are coming to Cairn Online from another institution, it is very likely you will have some credits that will transfer. Because there are so many options, we encourage you to talk to an enrollment counselor. If you are transferring out, Cairn is a regionally accredited school and some credits should transfer with relative ease. Each college sets their own transfer criteria, so be sure to check their policies for specifics.

Cairn Online offers a variety of options for prior learning and experience. You can receive up to 6 credits for prior learning for graduate programs. At the discretion of the program advisor, three to six credits for prior learning (CPL) can be awarded for students with extensive background in areas addressed by specific courses. Additionally, advance standing may be granted for Bible or theology credits earned at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts college or university, or seminary. Credits will be granted on a course by course basis.

Cairn is approved to offer financial aid because of its regional accreditation. There are many options available and typically students qualify for at least one type of federal aid. Many students receive scholarships and grants that make earning their degree even more affordable. Cairn offers a variety of scholarships and discounts in addition to options for loans and grants. Please refer to this page for details. 

The requirements depend on the program you are considering. Please refer to this page for details. 

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