James Patterson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair of the Politics Department, Ave Maria University

James Patterson received his B.A. in Political Science and Media Studies at the University of Houston in 2002 and his Ph.D. in American Politics from the University of Virginia in 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor and Chair in the Politics Department at Ave Maria University, a Research Fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy, president of the Ciceronian Society, and a faculty affiliate with the Jack Miller Center. He has held research positions at the Program for American Values and Institutions at Duke University and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, as well as teaching positions at Hampden-Sydney College and Gettysburg College. His areas of research include race, religion, and American political development.

He has published academic work in American Political ThoughtJournal of Church and State, Religions, and Perspectives on Political Science. He has published more popular essays and book reviews for National AffairsModern AgeSocietyLaw and Liberty, and Public Discourse. In early 2019, the University of Pennsylvania Press published his first book, Religion in the Public Square: Sheen, King, and Falwell. This book examines how very different religious leaders–Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Rev. Jerry Falwell–sought to influence national politics by preaching their interpretation of American political foundations to both the voting public and political elites. He is currently working on his next book, a compilation of the political and social thought of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

He lives in Ave Maria, Florida, with his wife and four children.