A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Nicholas Kerton-Johnson

Associate Professor of Political Science & International Relations
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PhD, Politics, University of Bristol, 2008
Topic: The Justifications for, and practice of, intervention by the United States, 1990-2003
MA, War Studies, Kings College, London, 1999
Higher Diploma, Education (History and Mathematics), University of Cape Town, 1997
Honours Degree, History, University of Cape Town, 1996
BA, History, University of Cape Town, 1995
  • international relations
  • international security
  • persecution of christians
  • religion and international relations
  • religious freedom

  • Faculty Profile

    Advice to Incoming Students

    Realize that you are in an incredible position to transition between youth and adulthood. Come to Taylor expecting to have a good time, to make life-long friends, to laugh. Expect to learn about God and grow in your faith, to make it real, and yours. But also come prepared to work. Don’t let these years slip by without gathering every small scrap of wisdom that you can. This is university; you will need to be dedicated, to work hard, to be independent. 

    Why I Enjoy Teaching at Taylor

    I specialize in religious freedom with a focus on Christianity. This work is best nurtured on a Christian campus which not only loves Christ, but lives to serve the global church. Here my work is welcomed and encouraged. Here too I am able to teach and interact with some of the best young Christians in the world. It is a blessing to be a part of young men and women’s lives; to see them grow in the Lord, in knowledge and wisdom; to help equip them for life.


    It is often thought that South Africans are sport mad. I am not an exception! However, as a South African I have not yet come to love American sport. I love playing rugby and tennis, swimming in the sea, a river, a lake, a pond, a dam (anything!). But I will try my hand at any sport.

    Otherwise I love to pray, to sing and talk to God while I walk around my small farm. I love farming and laughing with friends. 

    Major Career Accomplishments

    Teaching at Taylor is my third career! My second in finance had many accomplishments with which I am pleased, but let me stay focused on my academic career. I was pleased to complete four degrees and a diploma in education without incurring any student debt. My studies were almost all funded through competitive scholarships. There is no doubt that attaining a PhD at a prestigious United Kingdom University while at the same time being the engrossed father of two beautiful but energetic children was an achievement which gave me great joy followed shortly thereafter with the publication of my first book on US military intervention post 1990, published by Routledge. During my PhD I was also honored to be the only PhD student in my department and one of few across the entire university to be entrusted with graduate level teaching.

    There are the usual accomplishments of writing papers, delivering these at major conference and seeing them published, along with book chapters, but I would say that my greatest accomplishment has been to walk the uncommon road; to see a vision for research that will build the kingdom and together with colleagues and students to see this vision become a reality. So I regard forming and leading the Ephesus Initiative as my greatest career accomplishment and while it is still small, I will celebrate what God has done, in order to anticipate Him doing so much more!

    • 2009-12  Research database: Ephesus Initiative empirical study of religious freedom
    • 2011 Article: “Governing the Faithful: A discussion of religious freedom and liberal democracies with particular focus on the United Kingdom”, International Journal for Religious Freedom, Vol. 4, Issue 2.
    • 2011 Research Agenda: “Responses to Persecution”, International Journal for Religious Freedom, Vol. 4, Issue 1. (With Tom Weingartner and Aaron Johnson)
    • 2011 Paper: “Governing the Faithful”, delivered at the International Studies Conference, Montreal.
    • 2010 Book: Justifying America’s Wars. Routledge: August 2010
    • 2009 Article: “Justifying War in the Cold War: the shifting war discourse of US Presidents 1990-1999” Defense and Security Analysis, Volume 25, Number 4, December July 2009
    • 2009    Book chapter: “Coercing Solidarism: The secular and religious in US exceptionalism”, in Durward, R and Marsden, L. (2009) Religion, Conflict and Military Intervention.  Final manuscript submission May 2009
    • 2008    Article: “Justifying the use of force in a post-9/11 world”, International Affairs, Volume 84, Number 5, Sept 2008
    • 2008    Paper: “Coercive Solidarism and the US Pursuit of Freedom”, presented at the English School Workshop, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Bristol
    • 2007    Paper: “International System Resurgent:  Justifying the Use of Force in a Post-9/11 World”, presented at the 42nd AnnualBISA Conference, University of Cambridge
    • 2007    Paper: “Saving Bush from the Manicheans”, presented at the 6th Bi-AnnualCPS Conference, Chicago
    • 2006    Paper: “Justifying and Practicing War: Retreating World Society?”, presented at the 41st AnnualBISA Conference, University of Cork
    • 2005    Paper: “Restoring Christianity to the English School”, presented at the 1st Annual WISC Conference, Istanbul, Turkey