Professor Swinton has published widely within the area of dementia, practical theology, disability theology, qualitative research and pastoral care. He is the author of a number of monographs including Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship (Baylor Academic Press 2016) Dementia: Living in the memories of God (Eerdmans 2014), Raging With Compassion: Theological responses to the Problem of Evil (Eerdmans 2006), Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a “Forgotten “Dimension (Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2001).
In 2016 his book Dementia won the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ramsey Prize for excellence in theological writing. The Archbishop of Canterbury Right Rev. Justin Welby described the book thus: "John has written a book which is deeply challenging and brings to bear a coherent theological approach, with clinical background and understanding, to an issue that has touched many of us, and is one of the great issues of our society. He has done the church and our country a huge service." In 2017 his most recent book Becoming Friends of Time: Time, disability and the art of gentle discipleship won the award of merit for theology and ethics in the Christianity Today book awards for 2017. The book was named as “one of the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.”