The School of Educational Leadership faculty represents a diverse group of practitioner scholars who each possess extensive experience in P-12 education and represent a broad range of subject matter expertise. Our faculty have dedicated themselves to developing P-12 educators as world changers, excelling in the areas of the character, scholarship, and leadership through a biblical worldview of teaching and learning. Most importantly, our faculty are committed to meeting your needs as an adult learner through a theory-to-practice approach to graduate education.

School of Educational Leadership

Karen Dowling Director of Academic Programs karen.dowling@indwes.edu


Dr. Karen A. Dowling has taught in Indiana public K-12 education as a secondary Spanish and Japanese teacher in Indianapolis and Muncie, Indiana. Dr. Dowling was an instructor at Ball State University in Educational Studies for curriculum and instructional methods, student teaching, and multicultural education courses. Before moving to Indiana Wesleyan in 2012 as director of the Department of Adult Teacher Licensure Programs, Dr. Dowling taught Spanish at Taylor University. She has received such honors as Muncie Central High School teacher of the year and the Project-E Excellence in Education teaching award, and has been awarded various community grants. Dr. Dowling traveled to Japan as a member of the Fulbright Memorial Fund (Japan) and Toyota International Teacher Program, and has taken educational trips to Spain, Chicago and Japan with students. She and her husband, Trent, a commercial lender at Star Financial Bank, have two young sons, Jared, an avid sports fan, scout and student council member in Wes-Del Community Schools, and Joel, an Elvis and Beatles fan, sports fan, and student council member.

Educational Background:

  • B.A., 1997, Ball State University
  • M.A., 2004, Ball State University
  • Ph.D., 2012, Ball State University


Dr. Dowling is interested in the impact of the demographic imperative on teachers’ pedagogy and nonmainstream student achievement. She is also interested in teacher education, comparative education, novice teacher and mentor programs in schools, school leadership in professional development, and migrant student learning. She enjoys being with her family and friends; being involved at her church in women’s ministries, connection groups and the youth group; movies; music; lake time; travel; and Zumba fitness.