Master of Education onlineHigher Education Leadership and Social Justice

Two teachers facing camera

Be the Change in Higher Education.

M.Ed Program Overview

Bellarmine’s M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Social Justice is a 30-hour, fully online master’s program that provides students with the breadth of knowledge and professional experiences to be able to lead and serve in a variety of entry and mid-level positions in higher education. Our curriculum in higher education theory and social justice principles addresses the professional standards, skills and personal development necessary to work and lead in higher education.

Career Prospects

The degree prepares students to engage and direct student learning through professional positions in student life, academic affairs, athletics and a multitude of administrative positions across the campus in a variety of higher education settings. That includes traditional undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities, community colleges, for-profit institutions, online higher educational institutions and professional undergraduate and graduate settings. The degree also prepares students to work in other functional areas in higher education, such as advancement and business and finance.


Program Highlights

  • Earn your M.Ed. while working full-time
  • Online courses for this program are offered in convenient, 8-week sessions for the working student
  • In-depth study of leadership theory and application in higher education and social justice.
  • 100% online delivery
  • Practitioner-focused curriculum
  • Capstone internship and portfolio development
  • Affordable, quality academic learning experience
  • Begin program in fall or spring
  • Full-time or part-time course load
  • 30 credit hours total
  • Complete coursework in as little as three semesters
  • One-on-one program advising and mentorship
  • No work experience or GRE test scores required for admittance
  • Program designed for professionals in higher education settings, as well as private and non-profit educational agencies, government and community agencies, and those interested in a career change.

Alumni Stories

Taylor Street

“This program focuses on social justice and covers topics that are relevant to today's student populations. Also, the tuition rate for the program is actually much less than similar online programs. The classes are a great, 8-week format that lets me focus on class while still working a full-time job and having ‘me time.’ The instructors are great and come with a significant amount of knowledge and expertise to the courses. The classes keep my interest and are practical for everyday functioning.”

Taylor Street '19

John Siason headshot

“I want to be an exemplary leader in higher education with a focus on diversity, intersectionality, and social justice, so Bellarmine's dedication to addressing issues of inequity greatly appealed to me. I like our small class sizes and the expertise, mentorship, guidance and continuous advising that our professors provide.”

John Siason '20



James G. Archibald, Ph.D., LPC is an Associate Professor and Chair of Higher Education Leadership and Social Justice. Before coming to Bellarmine University, Dr. Archibald was an Associate Professor at Valdosta State University. He previously served as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Valdosta State University where he provided strategic vision, leadership, organization, and supervision for the Division of Student Affairs. Dr. Archibald is a licensed professional counselor and earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio University. He has a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling from Austin Peay State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Morehouse College. Dr. Archibald was the recipient of the 2014 NASPA Region III Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs through Teaching Award as well as ACPA’s 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Recreation Award.



Adjunct Faculty

  • Adriel A. Hilton, Ph.D., Dean of Students and Diversity Officer, Seton Hill University
  • Eve Hudson, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Strategist, The Purpose Professor, LLC
  • James Hudson, Ph.D., Instructor of University Studies and Educational Technology, Johnston Community College
  • Melvin (Jai) Jackson, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Student Success, College of Education, North Carolina State University
  • Sean McGreevey, Ph.D.


All initial and advanced-level teacher education programs at Bellarmine University's Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education are recognized by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and are fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


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For more information, call 502.272.7100 or email your questions to