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Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D.
Scholar-at-Large757.352.4616More about Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D.

Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D.


Dr. Eric Patterson is a Scholar-at-Large and the former dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. His research and teaching focus on religion and politics, ethics and international affairs, and just-war theory in the context of contemporary conflict. Prior to his arrival at Regent, Patterson served as associate director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs and visiting assistant professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. As part of the Berkley Center’s Government Outreach program he has spoken and led seminars at 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 other government venues.

Patterson has considerable U.S. government experience. He served as a White House Fellow and special assistant to the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and has spent two stints in the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs. He continues to serve as an officer and commander in the Air National Guard.

Patterson is the author or editor of 10 books, including most recently: Ending Wars Well: Just War Thinking and Post-Conflict (Yale University Press, 2012) and Ethics Beyond War’s End (Georgetown University Press, 2012.) He has also edited two volumes on Christian realism and has been published in numerous journals including Survival, International Studies Perspectives, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, International Politics, Journal of Diplomacy and International Affairs, and Journal of Political Science, among others.

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


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