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Robertson Hall, which houses the law school of Regent University Virginia Beach.
Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D.
Scholar-at-Large757.352.4616More about Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D.

Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D.


Eric Patterson, Ph.D., is a scholar-at-large in the Robertson School of Government, where he once served as dean and tenured professor. Dr. Patterson also serves as president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation after holding positions as Executive Vice President and later President of the Religious Freedom Institute. In previous years, Patterson taught at Georgetown University and Vanguard University and has extensive government experience, including service as a White House Fellow and special assistant to the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, two stints in the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs with time on the Inter-Agency MANPADS Taskforce, and over 20 years of service as an officer and commander in the Air National Guard.

Patterson has addressed many government audiences, such as the U.S. Air Force Academy’s National Character and Leadership Symposium, the French Department of Defense, the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis), the Armed Forces Chaplains Center, National Defense University, the Pentagon, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Foreign Service Institute, and various combatant commands.

In addition to dozens of peer-reviewed academic articles and over a hundred op-eds and short essays, he has authored or served as editor of 22 books, including A Basic Guide to the Just War Tradition (2023); Just War and Christian Traditions (with J. Daryl Charles, 2022); Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in U.S. Military History (2019); and Politics in a Religious World: Toward a Religiously Literate U.S. Foreign Policy (2012).

Fields of Expertise:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Religion and Politics


  • 2008 Graduate, IDE-Air Command and Staff College (non-residence)
  • 2005 Graduate, USAF Squadron Officer School (non-residence)
  • 2002 Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara Fields: International Relations, Comparative Politics, Religion and Politics.
  • 1998 Graduate, Academy of Military Science (ANG/USAFR)
  • 1994-1995 MSc(Econ), University of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K. Major: International Politics
  • 1989-1994 B.A., B.Ed., Evangel University, Springfield, Missouri Majors: Biblical Studies, Music Education


  • Returning Military Necessity to the Just War Tradition, co-edited with Marc LiVecche (Routledge, 2023).
  • A Basic Guide to the Just War Tradition: Christian Foundations and Cases (Baker Academic, 2023).
  • James Turner Johnson and the Just War Tradition: Selected Essays. Co-edited with Tim Demy and Gina Granados Palmer (Stone Tower Books, 2023).
  • Moral Order and Power Politics. Co-edited with Robert Joustra (Wipf & Stock, 2022).
  • Just War and Christian Tradition: Christian Denominations and the Ethics of Security and Peace. Co-Edited with J. Daryl Charles (forthcoming, University of Notre Dame Press, 2022).
  • Just War Historian: The Legacy of James Turner Johnson. (Stone Tower Books, forthcoming 2021).
  • Christian Realism for Terrifying Times. Co-edited with Robert Joustra (forthcoming Wipf & Stock, 2021).
  • Just American Wars: Military Ethics in US History (Routledge, 2019).
  • Philosophers and War: An Introduction. Co-edited with Tim Demy (Stone Tower Books, 2017).
  • The Reagan Manifesto: "A Time for Choosing and its Influence." Co-edited with Jeffry Morrison (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016)
  • Ashgate Companion on Military Ethics.  Co-edited with James Turner Johnson (Ashgate, 2015).
  • Military Chaplains in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Beyond (sole editor, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).
  • Ethics Beyond War’s End (sole editor, Georgetown University Press, 2012).
  • Ending Wars Well: Just War Theory in Post-Conflict (Yale University Press, 2012).
  • Politics in a Religious World: Building a Religiously Informed US Foreign Policy (Continuum, 2011).
  • Debating the War of Ideas.  Co-edited with LtCol John Gallagher (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009).
  • Christianity and Power Politics Today: Christian Realism and Contemporary Political Dilemmas (sole editor, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008).
  • Just War Thinking: Morality & Pragmatism in the Struggle Against 21st Century Conflicts (Lexington Books, 2007).
  • Latin America’s New-Reformation: Religion’s Influence on Politics (Routledge, 2005).
  • The Christian Realists: Reassessing the Contribution of Niebuhr and His Contemporaries (sole editor, University Press of America, 2004).


Select Honors:

  • 2010 American Swiss Foundation Young Leader
  • 2010 Next Generation Fellow, The American Assembly
  • 2008 United States Air Force Fellow
  • 2007 Outstanding Young Alumnus, Evangel University
  • 2007-2008 White House Fellow
  • 2005-2007 William C. Foster Fellow, U.S. Department of State
  • 1998 Golden Apple Teaching Award (Teacher of the Year), Fallbrook High School
  • 1994-1995 Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar