Dean's Welcome

Hear from Dean Eric Patterson

Dean's Welcome

Political scientist Harold Lasswell famously wrote, "Politics is who gets what, when, and how." Like any government or political science program across the country, the Robertson School of Government (RSG) will instruct you about these things. But, students who choose the RSG come here because we teach much more–we teach the "why." We help students understand the ideas and values that underpin political thought and action. George Washington understood this, which is why he argued, "reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles." James Madison understood this, writing that we need government because men are not angels. Ronald Reagan understood this, asserting that "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

Despite Lasswell's assurance that politics is simply about material things, many of America's enemies, from the Nazis to the Soviets to al Qaeda, have also understood that politics is about ideas. Consequently, RSG graduates are distinctive in that they master Lasswell's inventory as well as the "why." More specifically, RSG's mission is to train leaders who desire to strengthen the ethical and moral foundation of Judeo-Christian principles in government, and who are called to preserve individual freedom, representative democracy, and constitutional government.

Our graduates leave Regent University rooted in a biblical worldview, trained and shaped by a caring, Christian faculty in a rigorous academic environment. From city hall to Capitol Hill and from non-profit humanitarian organizations to the governor's mansion, RSG alumni go on to live Regent's motto of "Christian leadership to change the world." I invite you to join us at the Robertson School of Government.

Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Associate Professor
Robertson School of Government



About Dean Patterson

Dean Eric Patterson is an expert on the ethics of war, post-conflict, and the intersection of religion and national security policy. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including Ending Wars Well: Just War Thinking and Post-Conflict, Ethics Beyond War's End and Politics in a Religious World: Toward a Religiously Literate U.S. Foreign Policy. Dean Patterson was a White House Fellow during the George W. Bush Administration and spent two stints working at the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on weapons security issues, traveling to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Angola, Congo, and elsewhere. As an Air National Guard officer and commander, he deployed to Southwest Asia in 2011.

Dean Patterson has given presentations at the National War College, Naval Postgraduate School, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Military Academy (West Point), U.S. Naval Academy, Armed Forces Chaplains Center, Army National Guard Readiness Center, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. European Command, and other government institutions. He is the author of over two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters, and his political analysis has been featured in The Washington Times, The Orange County Register, The Review of Faith and International Affairs, and Human Events. Prior to coming to Regent he taught at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.