Ph.D., The University of Hong Kong, 2014

M.S., Syracuse University, 2008

M.A., Troy State University, 2005

B.A., Andrews University, 1996 


Dr. Erskine's research interests focus on twentieth century American cultural history, particularly in the south.  Specifically, he is interested in the interplay between religion and politics in this region.  Erskine's research considers the missionary impulse in China - understanding how the missionary of the 1930s and 1940s left a larger imprint on American foreign policy in the United States than on the religious life of the Chinese.    

Erskine is working on two projects.  The first is a history of the second amendment, the gun culture in the United States and its politicization in the late 1970s, and the state of the gun lobby today.  While the gun lobby is not native only to the south, it is of particular interest to southerners.  The second project on which Erskine is working is a history of commercial sweet cake, pie, and cookie baking in the south.  This project centers on the rise of the McKee family, and other local and regional commercial baking families, and raises many questions about southern food and its impact on southern culture and history.


U.S. History to 1865

U.S. History from 1865

American Foreign Policy since World War II

Modern China

Modern America

Research Methods


McKee Library Research Grant, Southern Adventist University, 2017

NEH Summer Institute, Calvin College, 2015

Taiwan Fellowship, Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012

George C. Marshall Foundation Baruch Fellowship, 2012

University of Hong Kong Research Grant, 2011

Publication Highlights

China’s American Advisor: Frank W. Price, Missionary Advisor to Chiang Kai-shek (tentatively titled manuscript, in progress).

“Frank and Harry Price: Diplomatic Backchannels between the United States and China During World War II,” The American Journal of Chinese Studies (forthcoming, October 2017).

“Missionary Diplomacy: The Genesis of the China Lobby in the United States and how Missionaries Shifted American Foreign Policy between 1938 and 1941,” The Journal of American-East Asian Relations (forthcoming).

Conference & Presentation Highlights

“American Public Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics: Missionaries in the (China) Lobby, 1938-1941,” presented at American Association for Chinese Studies annual conference, October 2017.

“You are Not Going to North Korea!” Lecture given at La Sierra University, June 2017.

“Donald Trump: The First Six Months.” Luncheon talk at the “55+ Club” in Chattanooga, June 2017.

“You have to actually know history to teach it.” Convocation talk given to Southern Adventist University Department of Education, January 2017.

“Dear Smart People,” a lecture for the Southern Adventist University Southern Scholars, December 2016.

“American Public Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics: Missionaries in the (China) Lobby, 1938-1941,” presented at The Association of Seventh-day Adventist Historians conference, March 2016.

Moderator for an American Historical Association panel on the history of American missionaries in China at the January 2016 annual convention in Atlanta.


American Historical Association

Southern Historical Association

American Association of Chinese Studies

American Society for Church History