John Harding received his BA in Asian Studies with a minor in Religion from the University of Puget Sound in 1994. He pursued his graduate work in Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia along with research in Japan and one year at the University of Cambridge in England. John received his Ph.D. from Penn in 2003 shortly before joining the Religious Studies Department at the University of Lethbridge.

He was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in spring 2009 and served as department chair from 2010-2013. Additionally, he coordinates the emerging program and new minor in Asian Studies.

Harding is currently working with Victor Sogen Hori (McGill) and Alexander Soucy (Saint Mary's University) on a collaborative research project,  "The Modernization of Buddhism in Global Perspective," which is funded by a five-year SSHRC Insight Grant ($258,659).