Doctorate in

As the position of mission leadership has evolved over the past three decades, leaders working in Catholic healthcare cite an increasing need for well-prepared executives with deep understanding of Catholic theology, bioethics, practical business acumen, and organizational leadership who can function in an executive capacity to guide increasingly complex organizations.

Our interdisciplinary online Doctorate in Healthcare Mission Leadership builds on the MA in Healthcare Mission Leadership and provides a professional, doctoral-level preparation for individuals who hold or will hold positions of senior leadership within Catholic healthcare organizations.

Loyola offers the first and only doctoral-level graduate program in Healthcare Mission Leadership in the U.S. 

Now accepting applications for Fall thru August 1, Spring thru December 1!

“One of the most formative things about the mission leadership graduate programs at Loyola is the engagement with diverse groups of faculty and professionals who help you develop your own theological and ethical thought. This type of engagement gradually leads to the inculcation of practical wisdom over time. This is the strength of Jesuit education.”

Cory D. Mitchell, MA


The Doctorate in Healthcare Mission Leadership (D.HCML) consists of 66 hours of course credit. The D.HCML is a professional doctoral degree (not a PhD degree) requiring approximately 33 hours course credit beyond the typical M.A. in Healthcare Mission Leadership, Bioethics, Theology, Pastoral Studies, MBA, or Healthcare Management. 

Students may transfer up to 33 credit hours of coursework from an external MA degree toward the D.HCML based on curricular requirements. Prior graduate coursework will be evaluated on an individual basis. Each student's course of study will be tailored to build on and complement their previous coursework.


  • Theology and Bioethics (30 hours)
  • Organizational Management and Leadership (15 hours)
  • Five Specific Required Doctoral Courses (15 hours)
    • Three Integrated Seminars in Ethics, Theology and Healthcare
    • Canon Law, Sponsorship and Church Relations
    • Ministry Leadership Formation
  • Two Doctoral Capstone Courses (6 hours)
  • Matriculants in the Doctoral program are expected to maintain a 3.5 GPA

Click for complete COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Click for DHCML Sample Course Plan (pdf file)


The interdisciplinary nature of the Doctorate in Healthcare Mission Leadership degree program makes it perfect for professionals who work in or aspire to work in faith-based healthcare leadership. The degree is especially suitable for persons already in positions that focus on mission and identity, mission effectiveness, mission leadership or ministry leadership formation.

Key features of our online graduate degree programs in Healthcare Mission Leadership...

  • Accept only top caliber adult learners.
  • Taught by Loyola University Chicago faculty who are recognized scholars, active professionals, and dedicated to online education with decades of combined experience.
  • Combines the strengths of faculty located within a nationally-recognized medial school as well as an institute for ministry.
  • Draws on the resources and excellence of a major Catholic and Jesuit university.
  • Infused with the charism of Ignatian spirituality and its commitment to care for the whole person.
  • Committed to diversity and inclusivity.
  • Very high retention rate.

Accredited and ranked...

Flexible distance learning program...

  • Convenient, reliable and rigorous distance education for working professionals.
  • Our master's degree and certificate programs can be completed entirely online.
  • Our optional summer ‌blended courses offer face to face interaction with fellow students and faculty.  (Only 2-3 days on campus required.)

Participation in the professional discourse...

  • Our students, graduates and faculty routinely publish their work and present at national meetings.
  • Loyola University Chicago is a proud member of the Catholic Health Association.
  • Members of Loyola's Healthcare Mission Leadership Advisory Council hail from leading Catholic health systems.

For more information on our online Healthcare Mission Leadership graduate programs, please REQUEST INFORMATION.  We invite you register for our next online open house webinar.