Dr. Thomas White

Father of Cedarville Student Says President Misled Him About Professor’s Sexual Misconduct

By Julie Roys

The father of a former Cedarville student said he felt misled by Cedarville President Dr. Thomas White when the father inquired more than two years ago about Dr. Anthony Moore–a professor fired last week for prior sexual misconduct.

The father said he called White, whom he knew personally, shortly after his son told him in late 2017/early 2018 that Moore had suggested that Moore and the man’s son go hunting sometime.

When I interviewed White last week, he confirmed that Moore had suggested going hunting with a student, and mentioned both the name of the student involved and the student’s father. White said that after the father called him, he told Moore that he thought the hunting suggestion was “inappropriate” and told Moore he “could not do that again.”

White also confirmed that he knew many details of Moore’s background before hiring Moore in 2017. This included information that Moore had admitted that he secretly recorded multiple videos of another man showering while Moore was a campus pastor at The Village Church in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The father, who did not want his name or his son’s name published, said White didn’t tell him anything about Moore recording videos when the two talked in late 2017/early 2018. Instead, the father said White characterized Moore’s sin as a “technologically related” moral failure.

Moore’s Relationship Raises Red Flags

The man’s son said he met Moore through his roommates at Cedarville in 2017, or maybe early 2018, and the two started to develop a friendship.

The son said that one day, during a conversation with Moore, Moore mentioned that he liked hunting, and the son replied that he liked hunting too. The son said Moore then suggested that maybe the two of them should go hunting sometime.

The son said he mentioned the invitation by Moore to his father during a phone call. The father added that when his son came home for the weekend, his son again mentioned Moore and that he was excited about this new relationship.

However, Moore’s name raised red flags for the father, who said he had heard that Moore had been fired from The Village Church but didn’t know why.

The father said he then called a pastor whom he knew at The Village Church. The father said the pastor confirmed that Village Church had fired Moore, but said he couldn’t say anything other than what the church had said publicly.

The Village Church fired Moore in January 2017 for “grievous immoral actions against another adult member,” but didn’t give any details.

The father said the pastor urged him to call Dr. White, which he did.

“Technologically Related” Moral Failure

The father said he knew White and had his cell number, so he called White to ask about Moore.

The father said White told him that Moore had a “technologically related” moral failure that involved another man, but Moore didn’t act on it.

“My first thought was, okay, he probably sent some inappropriate texts or an inappropriate picture to another guy,” the father said. “And when (White) said (Moore) didn’t act on it, I just assumed he meant they didn’t end up in some . . . sort of physical relationship.”

The father said he urged his son to “steer clear” of Moore, which his son did. But the father said now that he knows Moore secretly recorded videos of another man showering, he feels misled.

“That isn’t even close to what I would have thought somebody meant by an immoral, technology related act,” he said. “That’s not what my mind goes to, even though I’ve been around the block a time or two with all sorts of crazy things in ministry.”

The father added that when he listened to a podcast I published with Dr. Diane Langberg, he was especially concerned.

“The predatory language that we’ve talked about over the most recent years has to do with adults and children,” he said. “But yesterday, listening to that interview talking about how adults, how they can be predatory with other adults and how that works—that interview yesterday sort of opened my eyes to some things that added to my concerns.”

I reached out to Dr. White for comment after interviewing the father and son, but he did not respond.

Currently, there’s a petition with more than 1,000 signatures, calling on Cedarville to fire White. When I asked both the father and son what they think the school should do, they both said they trust the trustees to handle the situation properly.

Cedarville’s trustees have previously scheduled meetings later this week.

Update: I changed the word “confirmed” to “mentioned” in the following sentence, which more accurately reflects what happened: “When I interviewed White last week, he confirmed that Moore had suggested going hunting with a student, and mentioned both the name of the student involved and the student’s father.”

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33 thoughts on “Father of Cedarville Student Says President Misled Him About Professor’s Sexual Misconduct”

  1. Jessica Hockett

    “Technologically-related moral failure”? “Grievous immoral actions against another adult member”?

    Christians, can we stop with the euphemisms and get specific? The circumlocution is its own form of dishonesty.

    Why are sexual sins – especially those involving members of the same sex – especially prone to semantic gymnastics ? And why is “moral failure” almost always used to refer to a Christian leader’s sexual sin but not other kinds of sins? Fair to say that sins using church money for hunting trips (cf James MacDonald) are also moral failures.

  2. Really, Ms. Roys, it’s good that you don’t let the leaders in the kingdom get away with anything, but does anyone else besides the people of Cedarville, the staff, parents, and students, need to know this? What the teacher did was horrible, but why does the whole world need to know?

    1. How else do you propose I hold leaders accountable? It’s not like I have an email list for the staff, parents, students (and I would add, alumni & supporters). Plus, I would argue this story involves much more than just Cedarville. The Village Church was involved, as well as all the prominent leaders who sit (or sat) on Cedarville’s trustee board. Also, let’s not forget that this sort of thing is rampant in the church, and especially the Southern Baptist Convention, which has many ties to Cedarville.

      It doesn’t give me any joy to expose these sins to the world. But sadly, I believe it’s the only way to purify the church and bring reform. And it’s precisely what Eph. 5:11 and 1 Tim. 5:20 instruct us to do.

      1. While I appreciate some of the stuff you have done (and I have told you so in person), I feel a little funny about the question that opens this response. I’m not sure it’s your job personally to hold leaders accountable. Just speaking as a brother in Christ, stating it as boldly as you do doesn’t sit well with me. Also, it seems to me Dr. White was trying to restore a brother. While I don’t agree with his manner of doing that, it doesn’t seem to me his career should be ruined over it.

        1. Jessica Hockett

          Holding leaders accountable is one of the many roles of a free press.

          Why does “restoring a Christian brother” to the body of Christ mean giving a man who has committed a criminal act a job and mentorship positions at a Christian university?

          If Dr White’s career in higher education is ruined, then he has ruined it with his own decisions and actions. He should own what he did – including his attempt to obscure Dr Moore’s past crime – apologize, and resign immediately.

          Disclosure: I attended Cedarville from 1994-1996.

        2. Who holds the leader accountable?

          Not Staff and Faculty. They are without leverage as they are reports and have incentive to work well with superiors, whether benefactor or tyrant.

          Legally, it should be the trustees. Not the Trustees. The information they receive about leadership is filtered by the leadership.

          This is the issue with nonprofit board governance and personality driven organizations.

      2. IronMan Proverbs 27:17

        While I do not condone Dr. Moore’s past actions, they are just that, the past…as far as anyone of us knows. Therefore, it is equally wrong for anyone of us to sit in Moses’ seat and continue castigate this man, as well as judge the initial motives of the president for hiring him. The president obviously felt that Moore was penitent or he wouldn’t have brought him to CU. And the president has already stated that Moore complied with everything asked of him up to the point prior to the termination.

        When is someone going to mention anything about praying for the victim, and yes Dr. Moore and his family? When will your righteous indignation motivate you to pray that the victim receives comfort, and that Moore at this time of public shame gets the restoration he truly needs?

        Who of us can say we are not without the need for grace and mercy, from the journalist who continues to “expose” to the people who continue to condemn without any info on whether or not he is guilty of violating anyone at the university. If he is guilty of violating a CU student, he needs to be held accountable. Leaders need to be held accountable. But it wasn’t just the OT shepherds that we’re guilty, but the people of Israel also were guilty of their own sin. And God has a way of spanking the bottoms of His children in public.

        Should he be allowed to “teach students” or work in a position that requires him to be close to students at CU? probably not. Was restoration at the university a wise choice? Maybe not. Should he be held accountable for his sin at TVC? Yes indeed, but he already has been. And now he’s removed from CU.

        But I think this has gone way beyond simply exposing someone. He has a family. And most of this is public condemnation from people who are quoting many texts, but are not being spiritual enough to restore (Galatians 6:1-2), and don’t know him personally or have had the opportunity to observe his life since being at CU. If I am wrong, I humbly stand corrected.

      3. Ms Julie, Thank you very much for all the hard works you have put in exposing these things hidden in darkness for the edification of the kingdom. I really appreciate it.

        It is very sorrowful for me to read all those accounts involving my Alma Mater, and it doesn’t give me joy, as you said. However, like you, I believe what is hidden needs to be revealed. That’s where the true light shines in and healing starts to take place. The church needs accountability from free press like you.

        I feel lucky that I graduated before he was hired. And to be honest, in all my years at Cedarville, I never felt unsafe or unprotected. However, by saying this, I do not neglect or belittle others’ difficult experiences at Cedarville. It actually really grieved me heart after reading some accounts on people filing for sexual assault but never got taken care of… Lord, I pray you heal those and discipline the offenders out of your love and justice.

        I sincerely pray that God continue to use your reports to edify, purify, sanctify, encourage, strengthen, and comfort His people. Praying for you.

    2. Jessica Hockett

      I hope you can agree that this story is also of interest to all prospective parents, students, employees, and supporters of Cedarville. (In other words, of interest to Christendom.)

      Dr. Moore’s criminal act is a matter of public record, but more sins than his are at-issue here. Dr. White’s decisions & actions reveal that he is unfit to preside over a Christian university. He should resign today.

      We all know the public exposure of sins that leaders would prefer be kept private is often the only way to get institutions to course correct. And even then, they don’t always do the right thing. Let’s hope Cedarville is the exception.

      1. Jessica,
        Thank you for calling Dr. Moore’s “sin” what it is: a criminal act. Across multiple blogs and comments, you’re the first person I’ve seen cut through the euphemistic tap-dancing around what this man did.

        1. Thank you for once again sharing the truth in an honest, respectful manner. The cover -ups in religious organizations are gross misrepresentations of God’s plan for the church. Knowing that some in the church value truth and are unwilling to overlook sin is refreshing.

    3. My husband is a staff member at CU and I’ve only been getting information from this website. He nor I feel that we’ve been informed from the school so as a person of Cedarville, I’m glad Julie is doing what she’s doing and reporting the details.

    4. Matt,
      It is VERY GOOD that Julie Roys doesn’t allow leaders in the Kingdom get away with anything. 1. It is a warning for others. “Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others make take warning.” (1 Timothy 5:20- in the New Testament if you are unfamiliar with the Bible). 2. If we adhere to your illogical thinking then; initially only the people of The Village Church, the staff, parents, and students should be aware of his sin. Yet, Dr. Moore initiated and was able to secure another position at a Cedarville within six months. Now with this dismissal; where will Dr. Moore show up next? The Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Catholic Church? It is VERY GOOD that the whole world knows. This way, he cannot prey on the vulnerable and innocent any more.

    5. I am a student at CU. I will not be after this. I want the whole world to know how corrupt the Leader’s in the Church are. We should never be silent about something as important as sexual assaults, no matter what extent. I feel violated by the school for the way they kept this information from us. When Dr. White brought Anthony Moore to Cedarville University he gave him access to more people than just students, faculty and staff at our University, he brought him into a new church and new community full of people who we’re unaware of his terrible action toward that man in Texas. The whole world needs to know because this goes way deeper than just our campus, but as a student during all of this I am deeply embarrassed to have claimed over and over again the greatness of this university and I’m embarrassed to be so naive to believe Dr. White when he said over and over again, many times in front of the entire Chapel, “Our campus has never had a problem with safety and well-being of students.” Sitting here now I believe in my heart that there are victims from my campus who’s assaults have been covered up. That is why the whole world needs to know, so these victims can come forward and a change can happen on this campus and restore it to the great place we once knew it as with the appropriate leaders in place.

    6. Doo Wop Coke Fan

      Hi, Matt. Your last question is an interesting one. Many would be inclined to believe that some sins could be handled quietly without broadcasting events to the whole world. As you probably know, there are times when church discipline for serious sin is done “in house,” and it stays there. However, there are some situations which call for public exposure. David’s sin with Bathsheba and his subsequent cover-up would be a biblical example. God Himself said he would expose it before the world. I’m sure you are familiar with the text in 1 Timothy 5 (which Ms Roys cited) that pertains to elders who persist in sin: “Rebuke them in the presence of all so that the rest may stand in fear.” (1 Timothy 5:20).

      Ms Roys has also appropriately cited Ephesians 5:11, which exhorts us to “expose the unfruitful works of darkness.” In my judgment, there has been far too much covering up and “sweeping things under the rug” in Evangelicalism. Too many people have gotten away with too much, while people who knew the truth refused to speak up. As I noted above, I believe your question about “the whole world” needing to know is interesting. I’m sure we agree, every believer who sins grievously does not need to be publicly exposed. But. Those who have shown up in the Roys Report have been appropriately held to account. I feel sorry for Anthony Moore’s family. It never should have come to this, because he never should have been put in this position. DWCF

    7. I can answer that! I am a parent we are seriously considering Cedarville University for our son who is entering his Senior year of high school this fall. For me as a parent, the President’s hiring criteria, or lack thereof, when hiring Professors is of huge importance to my family.

  3. Wait… hold on… why would Cedarville hire a professor who had been fired so recently for moral failure at a church? I am not suggesting that Moore should never by hired again, or that he is irredeemable, but that this seems to be a very nonchalant approach by Cedarville to a very serious moral issue. The cognitive dissonance is deafening.

  4. Anonymous lest you decide to come after me next. Guess what? I have sinned. Have you?

    This is a “Christian” rag blog. It must delight Satan to no end to have you dig up dirt on everyone and post it for the world to see. Christian leaders should be held accountable, but I don’t know that you are the one to be doing it. You seem divisive and attention seeking.
    While I agree Dr Moore shouldn’t be working at Cedarville University I can only imagine the grief his wife and children are going through in the name of your crusade. Posting gory details for the public is shameful.
    It also appears as though Dr White and the trustees have made a swift and appropriate decision. Why continue to tear them down? What do you wish to see? Public embarrassment over a poor choice? The university shut down? You had better hope nobody finds any sin in your life (sarcasm inserted here) and flaunts it for the world to see.

    1. Serving Kids in Japan

      There are so many things wrong in this comment, I’m not sure I can even address them all.

      First of all, your hopelessly clueless screen handle. This article not talking simply about “sin”. Moore’s actions towards the youth pastor at The Village Church were criminal. And White’s decision not to be fully forthcoming (to the students and the Cedarville community) about Moore’s crimes was irresponsible, and might amount to breach of trust.

      It must delight Satan to no end to have you dig up dirt on everyone and post it for the world to see.

      Um, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but… Julie Roys is a journalist. It is her job to investigate and report.

      What did you expect to find on her blog? Videos of kittens and bunny rabbits?

      Christian leaders should be held accountable, but I don’t know that you are the one to be doing it.

      Then who should?

      I can only imagine the grief his wife and children are going through in the name of your crusade.

      No doubt this is a terrible time for Moore’s family, and my heart goes out to them. But the humiliation that they’re suffering right now isn’t Julie’s fault. That’s on Moore. If he hadn’t deceived and betrayed his wife and kids, they wouldn’t be going through this right now.

      And suppression of the “gory details” is what led to this disaster at CU in the first place. Because Dr. White chose to be mealy-mouthed about Moore’s crimes, he put students at risk, and wound up deceiving their parents. Knowing these “gory details” is what helps us to protect our communities.

      Why continue to tear them down? What do you wish to see? Public embarrassment over a poor choice?

      This mess surrounding Moore is not simply one “poor choice”. And it’s not the only problem with Dr. White’s tenure at the head of CU. It’s only one of the most glaring.

      1. Marmee March

        “What did you expect to find on her blog? Videos of kittens and bunny rabbits?”
        Good one!

    2. Melissa Faulkner

      I wonder why you question whether she is the right person to be doing this work? Might it be because she is a woman and should therefore be silent? Even if you hold to a personal belief that women should be silent in the church, media is not the church. And, “Why continue to tear them down?” It’s because evangelical institutions have been making these same wrong decisions over and over and over and over again, and until lessons are learned and real change occurs, those who see wrong must speak up. God does not call us to have a spirt of fear.

    3. First, Dr. White has a verifiable track record of lying about the “resignations” of terminated employees.

      Second, Dr. White fired Dr. Moore for apparently not disclosing information during his hiring process.

      Dr. White was not honest about this whole matter from the onset.

      IF you worked or been around Dr. White, you will see he is a good man prone to piety and acts as a filter of facts between the Board of Trustees and the University.

  5. misterjesperson

    I keep finding the total ignorance of the whole scripture to really trip up those who are of this-is-none-of-your-business, Julie, crowd. They twist a few scriptures out of context and totally ignore others, like the fact of Jesus and John the Baptist telling the Pharisees off face-to-face. They called these kinds of religious leaders snakes and sons of the Devil. But this crowd ignores that along with Tim. 5:20, Eph.5:11, Luke 12:3 and the parable of the sheep and the goats.

    It is evident that they never read the O.T. prophets whom Jesus praised greatly and were the scriptures read by the early Christians as there was no N.T. initially. When you read them, then you understand why there is a pestilence going around today that has shut down almost everything that has called itself a church or Christian today. The ways of God do not change and this pestilence will cause the physical bankruptcy of many things that are already spiritually and morally bankrupt. Jesus’ Church will replace them which is not just a good thing, but truly a great thing! I expect that the churches, schools and ministries that Julie covers here will all soon cease to exist in their current state. May the fear of God return to Christians whom do not believe that Ananias and Sapphira actually were killed in the N.T. by the Holy Spirit…

  6. Melissa Faulkner

    When I wrote to Dr. White in December 2019 (just 4 months ago), I told him I was seeking a release from my role as tenured faculty because “I no longer [felt] safe” at Cedarville University. I went on to write a brief, bullet list as to the reasons why. He didn’t even bother to respond. Clearly the safety of those in his charge, be it student, faculty, or staff was not high on his priority list. Regardless of any words he uttered, his behaviors prove differently. And, to be clear, in my request for release of contract I meant I felt unsafe from emotional and spiritual abuse. To know even our physical and sexual safety was knowingly put at risk is more than I can wrap my brain around.

    1. Melissa, do you care to share the experiences you had that led you to believe you were being emotionally and spiritually abused?

      I am interested in your story.

  7. No one has mentioned the reason this article was written, Dr. Moore appears to have been grooming another young man. In this case using a shared love of hunting to connect and go on a trip together.
    This is so very troubling!
    If Dr. Moore was truly repentant for his illegal actions, he would NEVER place himself in similar tempting situations.
    Instead he talks up a camping/hunting trip with a male student. (Was he the only one?)
    Worse, Dr. Moore allows himself access to watching naked male students in the locker room. (He could have been recording them also.)
    Dr. White didn’t help his friend at all, he enabled him!
    The trustees now must protect their students by firing Dr. White.

    1. You should realize that the man Moore took videos of wasn’t a young man. It was another middle-aged man. We haven’t heard of anything involving young men.

      1. Erasmuse, thank you for the correction. However, knowing that Dr. Moore recorded a male friend in the shower multiple times over many months, he never, ever should have let himself be around a locker room again.

        1. I agree. In fact, just feeling same-sex urges, he should keep himself away from locker rooms. If I were allowed in girls’ locker rooms, I’d stay out anyway! Maybe he does stay out of locker rooms– has it been reported that he doesn’t?

  8. Practice what you preach? These words from White are directly taken from an article written in 2018 about Paige Paterson’s stepping down from CU’s Board of Trustees (whole article link following)

    From Dr. Thomas White’s May 30, 2018 statement addressed to Cedarville University

    I can tell you that at Cedarville University we want a culture that supports and values women. We want a culture that defends and protects any victim. We want a culture that properly balances justice and mercy. We know that we are all sinners so we desire a community of compassion that works with fallen men and women to grow closer to Jesus. While doing this, we justly report any violation of the law to the authorities immediately. We seek to personify Micah 6:8, “to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with our Lord.”
    We recognize that training students in this generation is complex. We live in the midst of a #MeToo movement surrounded by a “Fifty Shades of Grey” culture populated by humans bearing a sinful nature inherited from Adam. Reports continuously surface of sexual misconduct in different ways at various universities across the country. In an effort to lead well, allow me to remind our Cedarville family about our commitments concerning abuse.
    Early on in my tenure as president, I felt it important to make a clear statement about abuse. Therefore, in August of 2014, I worked with outside legal counsel to craft a clear communication which was sent to our entire faculty and staff making sure that if anyone was aware of sexual abuse of any kind then “your first and immediate action must be to notify law enforcement authorities without delay.” I further stated that “any attempt to minimize or conceal such incidents – including simply not reporting them –is absolutely unacceptable. We have an obligation to do what is right and to protect anyone who has been abused or mistreated.”
    More recently in March of this year, I had the privilege to participate in adopting the following “Statement on Abuse” in my work with another entity. This statement articulates my views and direction as I lead Cedarville University.
    STATEMENT ON ABUSE
    We believe abuse can be defined as any act or failure to act resulting in imminent risk, serious injury, death, physical or emotional or sexual harm, or exploitation of another person.
    We condemn all forms of physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse.
    We believe that the biblical teaching on relationships between men and women does not support, but condemns abuse (Prov. 12:18; Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:7; 5:3).
    We believe that abuse is not only a sin but is also a crime. It is destructive and evil. Abuse is a hallmark of the devil and is in direct opposition to the purposes of God. Abuse must not to be tolerated in the Christian community.
    We believe that the local church and Christian ministries have a responsibility to establish safe environments; to execute policies and practices that protect against any form of abuse; to confront abusers and to protect the abused, which includes the responsibility to report abuse to civil authorities.
    We believe that church and ministry leaders have a special obligation to report abuse to civil authorities. Moreover, these leaders are responsible for knowing the laws of their state about reporting the suspicion or accusation of child and spousal abuse, and for following those laws in good faith.
    We believe that the church must offer tender concern and care for the abused and must help the abused to find hope and healing through the gospel. The church should do all it can to provide ongoing counseling and support for the abused. The wounds of abuse run deep and so patience and mercy are needed over the long-haul as the church cares for the abused.
    We believe abusers need to confess their crimes both to civil and church authorities, to repent of their sin, and to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and forgiveness from their sin.
    We believe that by the power of God’s Spirit, the Christian church can be an instrument of God’s love and healing for those involved in abusive relationships and an example of wholeness in a fractured, broken world.
    We have a great team committed to creating a community that trains the next generation with excellence to stand “for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.” I would welcome your prayers and support that we would be faithful stewards, and I value your partnership towards this end.
    In Christ,
    Thomas White
    Correction: An earlier version of this story said Paige Patterson’s tenure on Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees began in 2013. He actually joined the Board in 2003.

    White’s entire statement is well worth the read found in the link below:

    https://www.wvxu.org/post/paige-patterson-steps-down-cedarville-university-board-trustees-following-new-allegations#stream/0

  9. The more one digs the more disturbing it gets. What is CU actually promoting about sexuality? When combing through CU website, the Accountability Resource page has a “resource link”?! for those struggling with porn addiction called Pure Intimacy……… http://pureintimacy.org.
    Below is a disturbing excerpt (one of many) from the link provided by CU:

    The Bottom Line
    Porn isn’t completely useless and everyone who enjoys it isn’t a creep or an addict. However, believing that this type of content is totally harmless may contribute to a future addiction if you’re not careful. Therefore, be realistic about XXX movies and magazines so you can enjoy having your cake and eating it too.

    http://pureintimacy.org

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