Dr. Eric Patterson

Dr. Eric Patterson

Dean, Regent University

Dr. Eric Patterson is a professor at 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


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



The Reagan Manifesto: “A Time for Choosing” and its Influence. Co-edited with Jeffry Morrison (Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming, 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 Major John Gallagher (USA), 2009.

Christianity and Power Politics Today: Christian Realism and Contemporary Political Dilemmas. Sole editor, 2008.

Just War Thinking: Morality & Pragmatism in the Struggle Against 21st Century Conflicts, 2007.

The Future of Pentecostalism in the U.S. Co-edited with Edmund Rybarczyk, 2007.

Latin America’s New-Reformation: Religion’s Influence on Politics, 2005.

The Christian Realists: Reassessing the Contribution of Niebuhr and His Contemporaries. Sole Editor, 2004.

Select Articles/Chapters:

“What They Say and Do: Religious Freedom as a National Security Lens” in Review of Faith and International Affairs vol. 11, no. 1 (Spring 2013).

Eric Patterson and Ilan Cooper, “Supranational Authority and the Use of Force,” Survival vol. 53, no. 6 (2011).

“Religion in the Military: Promising Themes, Future Approaches” in Ron Hassner, ed., Religion in the Military (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

“Understanding the Nexus of Religion, Conflict and Peace” in Pauletta Otis and Dennis Hoover, eds., Handbook of Religion and Security (London: Routledge, 2012).

“Obama and Sustainable Democracy Promotion” in International Studies Perspectives vol. 13, no. 1 (Winter 2011-2012).

“Increasing the effectiveness of religious freedom advocacy: a perspective from the U.S.,” International Journal of Religious Freedom, vol. 3, no. 2 (2011).

“Sustainable Democracy Promotion: What Obama Could Learn from Bush,” Democracy and Society, vol. 8, no. 1 (January 2011).

“Shared Goals, Shared Language: Just War, Humanitarians, and the Military,” Journal of Human Security (Fall 2010).

“South Sudan Independence: International Contingency Planning and Just War Theory” in International Journal of Applied Philosophy (Fall 2010). Co-authored with John Lango.

“Bury the Bloody Hatchet: Secularism, Islam, and Reconciliation in Afghanistan” in Journal of Interreligious Dialogue (Fall 2010).

“Ethics and US AF-PAK Policy: Order, Justice, and Conciliation” in International Journal of Applied Philosophy (Spring 2010).

“Why Kosovo Doesn’t Matter-And How it Should,” in International Politics (January 2010). Co-authored with Roger C. Mason.

“The Freedom Agenda as Foreign Policy: Lessons for the New Administration,” in Foreign Policy Journal (May 2009). Co-authored with Jonathan Amaral.

“Just War Theory and Explosive Remnants of War,” in Journal of Mine Action and ERA, vol. 13, no 1 (Spring 2009).

“Presidential Leadership and Democracy Promotion,” in Public Integrity (Summer 2009). Co-authored with Jonathan Amaral.

“Outlaws and Barbarians: The Bush Administration’s Revolution in Sovereignty” in Journal of Diplomacy and International Affairs (Spring 2006). Co-authored with Kendra Puryear.

“Jus Post Bellum: Order, Justice, and Reconciliation,” chapter in Rethinking the Just War Tradition, John W. Lango, et al. SUNY Press, 2006.

“Targeted Killing after September 11” in International Journal of Intelligence and ounterintelligence (Winter, 2005). Co-authored with Teresa Casale.

“Rewinding Rwanda: What If? (A Counterfactual Approach)” in Journal of Political Science, vol. 33 (2005).

“Different Religions, Different Politics: Religion and Politics in Brazil and Chile” in Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 47, no. 1 (Spring, 2005).

“Just War in the 21st Century: Reconceptualizing Just War Theory after September 11” in International Politics, vol. 42 (Spring 2005).

“Faith in a Changing Mexico” in Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, vol. 4, no. 1 (Winter, 2004).

“Religion and Political Attitudes in Chile and Argentina” in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 43, no. 3 (September, 2004).

“When is Strategic Bombing Effective? Domestic Legitimacy and Aerial Denial” in Security Studies, vol. 11, no. 4 (Summer 2002). With co-authors.

“The Invasion of Sects: Protestantism and Political Participation in Brazil” in Ethnos Brasil: Cultura e Sociedade, vol. 1, no. 1 (Winter, 2001).

“Religious Change and Politics in Chile and Brazil” in Nordic Journal of Latin American Studies (Iberoamericana), vol. 31, no. 1 (Fall, 2001).

Additional Publications:

In addition to the non-academic book Walking Toward Christmas: Devotions for Advent, I have published op-eds in various outlets including The Washington TimesWashington ExaminerOrange County RegisterFirst Things, and others.