Rape Victim Whose Story Ousted Paige Patterson Says Cedarville Pres Thomas White Was Part of Cover-Up

By Julie Roys

The rape victim whose story prompted the board at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to fire former President Paige Patterson in 2018 has just come forward with a major revelation.

The woman, Megan Lively, says Cedarville University President Thomas White participated with Patterson in the alleged cover-up of her rape in April 2003. Lively added that in the months that followed, she was required to meet multiple times with White’s wife, Joy White, now an assistant professor of women’s studies at Cedarville, as part of a “disciplinary plan.”

“I was made to feel like what happened to me was my fault,” Lively said. “The sexual assault was downplayed,” Lively added, saying that those involved tried to convince her that what had been done to her was not rape.

Joy and Thomas White

At the time of the incident, Lively was a graduate student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing a Master of Divinity degree in women’s studies. Joy White was a graduate student, as well, working on her Master of Theology degree. Thomas White was working on his Ph.D. at Southeastern and also serving as the director of student life. And Paige Patterson was the president of Southeastern.

I reached out to both Thomas and Joy White for comment. Thomas White responded: “To my knowledge I never met with Megan, and I am certain that she did not report a rape to me. Yes, my wife Joy was involved in a few discipleship meetings with Megan but never heard of an incident of rape.”

Lively first told the story of what had happened to her at Southeastern to The Washington Post in May 2018. Lively alleged that when she reported her rape to Patterson, he encouraged her not to report to authorities, but instead to forgive her assailant.

About a week after that report, Southwestern fired Patterson, saying that he had lied to the board about the rape and had withheld documents from his time at Southeastern. They also said Patterson tried to meet with another sexual assault victim in 2015, with no other officials present, so he could “break her down.”

Paige Patterson

The day Patterson was fired, Thomas White published a statement, saying he didn’t know whether Patterson would remain on Cedarville’s board of trustees. Patterson, a close friend of White’s, stepped down from the board five days later. Patterson had served as a trustee since 2013—the same year White became president of Cedarville.

White also said in his statement: “Regarding the article where The Washington Post claimed that Patterson encouraged a woman not to report an alleged rape to police, I was not in the room for the meeting and did not handle this matter though I did work at Southeastern Seminary during this time.”

Lively said she didn’t say anything about the Whites’ involvement when she first told her story in 2018 because the focus was on Patterson and she “didn’t want to detract from that.” However, Lively said that after hearing a podcast I published this week involving a rape victim at Cedarville, she felt compelled to speak.

According to Lively, the morning after she was raped, she met with White and others in White’s office and told them what had happened. Lively added that she never used the word “rape” in her discussions with White.

“For 15 years, I couldn’t say that word out loud, although what I reported was rape,” she said. “And I don’t know if it’s because . . . I didn’t want to admit it to myself. I have no idea. But I can say it now because of counseling and EMDR (a kind of psychotherapy treatment for trauma victims).”

Lively said Patterson eventually took over the process and there was a second meeting in Patterson’s office where White and several other proteges of Patterson’s were present.

“That’s when they kept pressing me and kept pressing me and kept asking very, very, very personal questions they had no business asking,” Lively said. “And I got backed into a corner, and that’s when I started yelling—exactly what happened.”

Lively said after the meeting with Patterson, neither Patterson nor White nor any of the other men present reported her rape to police. The Washington Post confirmed in 2018 that a report was never filed with the Wake Forest Police Department.

I reached out to Patterson to ask him about the meeting with Lively and White’s involvement, but he did not respond.

“That’s when they kept pressing me and kept pressing me and kept asking very, very, very personal questions they had no business asking. And I got backed into a corner, and that’s when I started yelling—exactly what happened.”

Lively showed me minutes of the first meeting on April 4, 2003, that she says took place in White’s office. The minutes do not mention that White was present, though Lively said she is confident he was there.

Heather Sapp, a friend of Lively’s who worked as the administrative assistant for the student life office at Southeastern in 2003, also says White was present at the meeting with Lively.

Sapp said she worked in the reception area outside White’s office. And she remembers seeing Lively come in one day “agitated, emotional, and nervous” and meet with White in his office.

Sapp added that at the time, Lively didn’t tell her what the meeting was about.  “She also seemed embarrassed that I was aware of her meeting, so I didn’t ask any questions,” Sapp said. “I figured if she wanted me to know, she’d tell me.”

However, in 2018, Sapp said Lively divulged that the meeting with White in 2003 had concerned her rape.

Lively said Southeastern placed her on probation after she reported her rape but she didn’t know why. As part of that probation, Lively said she was required to meet with Joy White.

“She started our disciplinary plan with a very judgmental statement that questioned whether or not the sexual activity had been consensual,” Lively said. Lively said that “set the tone” for the rest of her time with White.

“And I just sat there and listened,” Lively said. “I didn’t respond. I just sat there. There was nothing redeeming about our conversations. There was no wisdom shared or prayers. There was no quiet and gentle spirit, counseling, or support.”

“She started our disciplinary plan with a very judgmental statement that questioned whether or not the sexual activity had been consensual . . .  And I just sat there and listened. I didn’t respond.”

Patterson has consistently denied the allegations against him and maintained that Lively confessed in 2003 to consensual sexual conduct and “referred to it as sin on her part.”

However, current Southeastern President Danny Akin has said that institutional records show that Lively had reported that “a nonconsensual sexual act” had been performed against her. Akin also has said that seminary documents show that after her alleged rape, Lively went to administrators and was sent to meet with Patterson on “three separate occasions with three other men present.”

Currently, Thomas White is on administrative leave at Cedarville, following a major controversy there involving White’s hiring of Dr. Anthony Moore, an admitted sexual abuser. Cedarville said it is hiring an independent firm to investigate the process surrounding Moore’s hiring, but has not revealed any details about the investigation.

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46 thoughts on “Rape Victim Whose Story Ousted Paige Patterson Says Cedarville Pres Thomas White Was Part of Cover-Up”

  1. “She started our disciplinary plan with a very judgmental statement that questioned whether or not the sexual activity had been consensual,” Lively said. Lively said that “set the tone” for the rest of her time with White.

    “And I just sat there and listened,” Lively said. “I didn’t respond. I just sat there. There was nothing redeeming about our conversations. There was no wisdom shared or prayers. There was no quiet and gentle spirit, counseling, or support.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    well, this was the Good Cop / Bad Cop routine, wasn’t it.

    seems to me these meetings with Joy White had a few purposes:

    -to contrive a less threatening environment where Megan would hopefully put her guard down so Joy could control her (on behalf of Paige Patterson and Thomas White)

    -to extract information from Megan to use against her

    -to intimidate Megan

    -to brainwash Megan that no rape happened, that she was at fault
    ——————

    (reminds me of scenes from spy novels in a totalitarian regime setting)

    This, of course, was all part of the greater plan orchestrated by Paige Patterson, Thomas White, and others to protect themselves and their institution from negative publicity and legal troubles

    To protect their careers, their power, and money.

    1. This doesn’t surprise me. I am a pastor’s wife. We left more than one Ministry where are there was horrible, sexual and many other behaviors. My husband confronted these things and was let go more than once. I must also say that I have been in many churches where these things are handled correctly. It’s in the church, and it is part of the fiber of many. I’m 71 now and worn out. I know and I’ve always known that this is not God being represented. Right now I am a part of a church where these things are handled correctly. However, I am extremely lll and have not been able to attend. What man doesn’t handle, God will. I believe men and women deserve a chance to repent. However I rarely see that happening in places that we’ve been. When I read in Revelation about the church of laodicea it says a lot about the way our churches are today.

  2. There seems to be a pattern here. Makes you wonder what else is out there? I am the mother of a Cedarville female student. The treatment of Megan is unbelievable. The Board needs to act quickly and fire Dr. White. My daughter is not safe under Dr. White and his team of Southwestern “friends”. She will not be returning to Cedarville if Dr. White and his team remain. Every CU parent should consider whether or not their child can be safe under this kind of “leadership”.

    1. CU Parent, I called my daughter last night to see if she knew Kiara and if she was doing well. We both agreed on 2 things — that the treatment Kiara received from the abusive students, then the administration, was reprehensible, and secondly, that this is not the way she perceives the vast majority of students and faculty at CU. She mentioned one prof she admired, talked about her friends, and that she thinks so far her educational experience has been a good one.

      I completely agree every parent should be very concerned. But I think these revelations are going to help in the long run. Meanwhile, I’m heart sick, knowing families and friends of the principals who are going through very rough waters now.

      1. My daughter also loved most of her professors at Cedarville and has some great friends she met while there. She tried to stay but it almost killed her. She and I have talked to other students past and present and have been told that they have had similar experiences at Cedarville. My impression is they are very concerned with appearances and don’t want anything to come to light that might tarnish their name. I think it runs much deeper than Dr. White and removing him won’t solve the problem. My prayer is that more people feel than can come forward and be heard. Maybe then something will change.

        1. Gail, I live in the area. My opinion is this runs as deep as Paige Patterson. I’ve heard Dr. Brown lecture, and while bad things happen under each administration, I can’t picture a Dr. Brown administration dealing with bad things the way you and your daughter so eloquently described. There are also current and former faculty who are very sympathetic to these things being revealed. My daughter was angry and posted the podcast to her facebook wall. She said there are staff offering Zoom mitts with the women for them to discuss their feelings about this. Thankfully, she has chosen to not participate in those.

        2. Sounds like Willow Creek…appearances are everything…damn the crushed women, full speed ahead!🥵

    2. Thankyou for your beautiful spirit of support . While I do not have a student at this college I do have three children. I have two daughters who have attended college one graduated but I would feel exactly as you do about sending my precious daughter back into this covert behavior now apparent at this college. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. I’ve been waiting for this truth to come to light. I did not believe Dr. White in 2018 when he said he wasn’t there, and I don’t believe him now. Anyone familiar with the structure of a university knows a meeting like that would not take place without the Director of Student Life present.

  4. So, let me get this straight. A student is punished with probation after reporting a sexual assault? And as part of the probation, she is required to meet with a PEER who happens to be the wife of the dean of students?

    I keep seeing James 5 referenced with the desire for restoring a brother (which I believe is being misused, but won’t get into that). I’d argue they need to take a closer look at James’ rebuke against favoritism & partiality in James 2, and spend some time gaining an understanding of wisdom as defined in James 3:13-18:

    “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first PURE, then PEACEABLE, GENTLE, OPEN to REASON, FULL of MERCY and GOOD FRUITS, IMPARTIAL and SINCERE. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

  5. justicecollective

    Thank you once again, Julie Roys, for your careful, thoughtful reporting on yet another distressing situation involving Dr. Thomas White. Thank you as well to Megan Lively for coming forward. Once again, she proves how courageous she is.

    Most of us who work/worked under White at CU believed White had to have been involved in Megan Lively’s case. We believed this not only because he was the Director of Student Life at the time at SEBTS but also because he refused to condemn Paige Patterson in 2018. White has often boasted about being Patterson’s protege and close friend. The fact that he denies meeting with Lively and claims he can’t remember her is as dishonest as his claims about Anthony Moore. We now know White knew everything about Moore’s crime, so it logically follows White is following in Patterson’s footsteps and being dishonest here, too. Lively is is credible and trustworthy.

    We also now know that White lied to men’s basketball coach Pat Estepp about Moore and only told Estepp that Moore was guilty of a moral failure with technology. Estepp had no idea Moore had been a voyeur guilty of “Invasive Video Recording,” a felony in the state of Texas! Estepp’s close friends know this fact, however, thus the reason they’ve been vocal in defending Estepp–not White–on social media. And of course, we still don’t know who else White lied to about Moore–and who he may have told the full truth to: Jason Lee, Tom Mach, Scott VanLoo, Loren Reno, HR folks, etc. We do know, however, that the Bible Department was NEVER told, as White says in his blog (yet another lie).

    The pattern of dishonesty is clear and compelling.

    Interestingly, you quote Danny Akin in your article, Julie. Danny Akin sits on the Board of Trustees at CU. If he wants to stay consistent in his reasoning and reform the abuses of power that White and his SBC cronies have been involved in at CU, he should vote to fire White. He should also lead that Board to fire White’s cronies: Mindy May, Jon Wood, Jason Lee, and others involved in these abuses and cover-ups. They have done so much damage.

    And the Board should absolutely remove Lt. Gen. Reno as acting president because he’s cut from the exact same fundamentalist, misogynist cloth! It is insane that he is acting president when he has conspired with White and been involved in many abuses of power himself.

    We agree with what other commenters say above, too, therefore. Female students truly are not safe in the environment that exists at CU. Even if they’re never sexually assaulted, they’re still demeaned and denigrated in myriad ways on campus. And the culture hurts male students, too, who’ve been manipulated to idolize a corrupt role model in Thomas White and been taught that only toxic masculinity is real masculinity. Every parent should ask themselves, “Why was this culture allowed to be developed over the last 7 years? How has my child already been negatively shaped by it (even unconsciously)? How long will it take to reform this culture? And even if Dr. White does get fired, who will this Board of Trustees hire to replace him–a man like Reno?”

    Finally, the board should hire an outside, independent organization like G.R.A.C.E. to conduct the kind of deep, transparent investigation needed. Right now, however, lawyers hired by CU are running the investigation, which Joy White herself has reportedly now told people in Cedarville is “going really well.” So much for independence and depth.

    1. “Female students truly are not safe in the environment that exists at CU. Even if they’re never sexually assaulted, they’re still demeaned and denigrated in myriad ways on campus.

      And the culture hurts male students, too, who’ve been manipulated to idolize a corrupt role model in Thomas White and been taught that only toxic masculinity is real masculinity.

      Every parent should ask themselves, “Why was this culture allowed to be developed over the last 7 years?”
      ++++++++++++++++++

      Thomas White is on the Board of Directors of CBMW (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)… that just says it all.

      They were finished quite a while ago… just waiting for the machinery to whirr to a stop. These revelations concerning White have fast-forwarded the process.

    2. “Interestingly, you quote Danny Akin in your article, Julie. Danny Akin sits on the Board of Trustees at CU. If he wants to stay consistent”
      +++++++++++++++

      i suppose we’ll see what Danny Akin is truly made of.

      so sick of what christian leaders and role models make of this ancient faith — the sacrificial system never went away. it’s just that instead of animals and crops, it’s human beings, and what is right, ethical, and true that are sacrificed on the altar of their career pursuits of power and revenue.

      but i suppose this is nothing new. they just carry themselves as if they’re heroes, and the christian masses need heroes, so there it is: a sick symbiosis.

  6. Reading the Cedarville doctrinal statement should have warned everyone not to work or send their children there.

    1. Former CU Prof - Ruth Markham

      The doctrinal statement was changed after Patterson & White came to Cedarville. It was pretty strict before, but became even more so, with more specific references to gender roles.

    2. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that Joy White, wife of Thomas, is (reportedly) telling people in Cedarville that the investigation is “going really well”?
      How would she know this? Are “investigators” reporting back to Dr White? And if so, how is this an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION? Come on people! You can, and should, do better IF you truly care for people. Maybe that’s the problem …

  7. Lies, and more lies and cover-ups. Parents of CU students need to demand White be fired and not send their students back there. CU is not a safe place for men or women. The investigation needs to be done by an independent and reliable firm like G.R.A.C.E. It’s ludicris to think the the lawyers of CU will be doing a thorough investigation.

  8. It would be wise for White to resign now, as more and more courageous victims come forward to tell their stories. And they will…

  9. To JusticeCollective:

    For the record, I have never attended CU nor do I know anyone who has. Further, I have never met or had an association with the leaders who are being criticized and scrutinized. So I have no desire to protect these leaders, and I believe it is both good and wise that much of these issues are coming to light. Clearly, hiring Anthony Moore was a terrible idea, and it does seem like there’s been a concerted effort to cover up much of this process, as well as the aftermath once it came to light. Also, it does seem like various cases regarding young women coming forward with their issues were not handled well at all. Thus, these cases need to be investigated.

    However, JusticeCollective is not helping this cause by saying things like the below:

    “And the Board should absolutely remove Lt. Gen. Reno as acting president because he’s cut from the exact same fundamentalist, misogynist cloth!”

    Such use of language sounds like secular-progressive claptrap. Why not just say that the Board should remove Lt. Gen. Reno due to his affiliation with White and his poor judgment? The rest of your sentence is rather sophomoric, yet it would score you big points on MSNBC.

    Here’s another statement that is utterly simplistic and loaded with assumptions and projections:

    “Female students truly are not safe in the environment that exists at CU. Even if they’re never sexually assaulted, they’re still demeaned and denigrated in myriad ways on campus.”

    Such statements are indeed careless (and hyperbolic) since the word “safe” becomes devoid of its meaning. If by “not safe” you mean that some school officials failed to adequately deal with these students’ issues, then apparently CU is “not safe.” But are there hundreds of female students at CU who are walking around in fear for their lives or their safety? Obviously not. So again, it is not helpful to use hyperbolic language. By the way, do you think a purely secular university is “safe” for many female students?

    Also, you implied that “Even if they’re never sexually assaulted, they’re still demeaned and denigrated in myriad ways on campus.” Really? How many female students at CU did you interview to make such a highly-charged statement? Do you think that most of the female students at CU are being “demeaned” and “denigrated” on a regular basis? Do you have proof of this? Do you think it is okay to make extreme statements due to your anger at Thomas White?

    Lastly, I included one more ludicrous statement that you made:

    “And the culture hurts male students, too, who’ve been manipulated to idolize a corrupt role model in Thomas White and been taught that only toxic masculinity is real masculinity.”

    Really? So you believe that most of the young men walking around at CU have “been manipulated?” Again, do you have proof of this manipulation? Or is this another stark example of your own assumptions and projections? My guess is if you took the time to interview a few hundred male students at CU, they would likely not appreciate (nor be impressed by) your assertion that they are all being manipulated. Rather, I believe it is your form of commentary and your brand of “justice” that are doing the manipulating here. It is shameful. By claiming that only “toxic masculinity” is being taught at CU sounds again like secular-progressive claptrap. It is evident that in your anger toward Thomas White, you’re employing all the necessary buzzwords in order to show your social justice bona fides.

    It is not impressive though, since any 15-year-old on social media can argue in a similar, simplistic fashion. Such careless and hyperbolic language is not helping (nor will it help) this situation, or any other for that matter.

    1. My daughter does attend Cedarville and the culture is indeed negative for women. Women may not teach men anything Biblical. The women in the Bible Department may only teach women on anything from the Bible. They teach only “Women’s studies”. Women may be speakers in Chapel (which meets five days a week) but cannot teach anything. They may only share their testimony. If you look at the Chapel schedule on Cedarville’s website, you will see that probably 90% of the speakers are men. Each class has a chapel (freshman, sophomore, etc) and that can only be a male student.

      My daughter knows a staff member that left Cedarville because both this person and her husband worked at Cedarville. Cedarville figured out that the wife was making more money than the husband and their answer was to decrease the pay of the wife. They teach that women must not make more money than their husband.

      Thankfully the teachers in the major that my daughter is pursuing encourage women to be strong and be leaders. They encourage open dialogue in the classroom and value my daughter’s opinions. But I would also point out that some of the faculty openly mock the monitoring and heavy-handed leadership of Dr. White. They clearly don’t buy into what is being forced on them.

      I wonder if the Washington Post would be interested in “part 2” of the Paige Patterson story?

    2. Dan,

      Plenty of people have been in an environment in which they are not safe without knowing they are not safe. For instance, when I was at an internship site, working closely with a sex offender and no one had told me he was a sex offender, was I safe then? I don’t think so. It sounds highly likely to me that women at Cedarville are not safe even if they don’t know it. I honestly believe this is a true at a number of Christian colleges right now and I know this to be true due to my own experiences at another Christian University.

      To me, Dee’s blog from yesterday ( http://thewartburgwatch.com/2020/05/20/cedarville-university-appears-to-have-manipulates-a-sexual-harassment-complaint-where-was-dr-white/ ) makes it very clear women are not safe at Cedarville University since the University has not allowed at least some title IX complaints to be processed. When a woman can’t file with Title IX, that shows it’s not a safe place.

      I am beginning to think that students at Public Universities may be safer than at Christian Universities. I know at the University I just mentioned I tried to submit a Title IX complaint 3 or 4 times without being allowed to. Finally University counsel told me in an email that further emails might be ignored. Apparently that applied to Title IX as well. So now that University has been sued instead.

    3. justicecollective

      By your own admission, Dan, you have never attended CU or known anyone who has. Plus, you’ve never met or interacted with any of the leaders Julie Roys has been writing about.

      As we have said many times before, the Justice Collective is composed of dozens of present and former CU employees and alumni. We stand by all our statements because we can verify the truth in all of them.

      In other words, unlike you, we have attended CU, we have worked at CU (most of us for 1-2 decades or longer), and we’ve all met, interacted with, and suffered under all the leaders who’ve been indicted by Julie Roys’ reporting (and many others’ articles, too).

      That means, we likewise have taught and interacted with HUNDREDS of students over the last 7 years. In fact, some of us were those students. We have wept over many of our own wounds, and we have wept with many because of their wounds. Some of us even know Kiara and Amanda Stables, who has posted a comment here, and we know others like Kiara and Amanda. Too many others.

      We’re on the ground, in the trenches, helping to carry each others’ burdens and work toward justice and reform.

      What, exactly, are you doing to help?

      1. JusticeCollective, it’s not about how much you are helping compared to me. I’ve been following Julie’s stories closely too, and as I expressed in my comments, I completely agree with all of these issues being looked into and investigated. But I strongly disagree with your use of extreme (and hyperbolic) language that is steeped in emotionalism rather than logic and reason. If you stand by your statements, that is your choice. But not everyone has to stand by them.

    4. Dan,

      You shock me with your ignorance. And at this point that’s really saying something.

      I’ll chalk it up to underdeveloped empathy and lack of awareness and imaginative powers on your part.

      You have no idea what’s it’s like to live a lifetime in a christian setting (be it church or college campus) and be treated as invisible, no eye contact made, ignored, to have a group of men hold you by a leash as they decide what you can and cannot do, to not be allowed to speak unless it’s sanctioned and even then you’re ignored as if your’e not there and hadn’t spoken…. and so many other ways women and girls are devalued in christian environments.

      And since you obviously cannot comprehend these things, therefore your conclusion is that they couldn’t possibly be happening.

      it’s sort of like when my kids were young and we played hide and go seek. They’d cover their eyes and assume that because they couldn’t see me, therefore i couldn’t see them.

      You assume that something is not happening and does not exist because you cannot see it. Because you’re not experiencing it, therefore no one could possibly be experiencing it.

      My word….

      1. Scottie,

        Your response was emotional rather than rational. You said, “You shock me with your ignorance.” You also said, “You assume that something is not happening and does not exist because you cannot see it.” Yet in my first paragraph of my comments, I stated as follows:

        “So I have no desire to protect these leaders, and I believe it is both good and wise that much of these issues are coming to light. Clearly, hiring Anthony Moore was a terrible idea, and it does seem like there’s been a concerted effort to cover up much of this process, as well as the aftermath once it came to light. Also, it does seem like various cases regarding young women coming forward with their issues were not handled well at all. Thus, these cases need to be investigated.”

        The remainder of my comments had to do with the use of unhelpful, careless, and hyperbolic language out of one’s anger toward Thomas White and the entire CU community. Responses like yours (and the comments by JusticeCollective) are indicative of how people resort to emotionalism in their arguments. Thus, it is apparently not enough to point out (and investigate) the wrongdoing by Thomas White and others.

        But how is it helpful, as JusticeCollective wrote, to use phrases like “fundamentalist, misogynist cloth?” Does it make them feel better? Maybe it does. How is it helpful to say that “the culture hurts male students, too, who’ve been manipulated to idolize a corrupt role model in Thomas White and been taught that only toxic masculinity is real masculinity?” Who provided JusticeCollective the omniscience to assert with such certainty that the male students at CU have been manipulated? Those are strong accusations (and hyperbolic as well), yet those making such statements cannot get beyond their emotionalism.

        For example, if it was truly taught at CU “that only toxic masculinity is real masculinity,” then are we to assume that all the professors and staff at CU were accomplices in this way of thinking? You see the rub? If I had taught at CU or had been on staff there, and I didn’t agree or go along with everything Thomas White said and did, I certainly wouldn’t want someone else saying that I was an accomplice at a university that regularly encouraged “toxic masculinity” and that taught the male students to “idolize” Thomas White. Such hyperbolic language encourages and manifests in sweeping generalizations.

        Lastly, someone else in the comment thread said, “I am beginning to think that students at Public Universities may be safer than at Christian Universities.” The first two words that came to my mind when reading this were “Penn State.” Remember the sex abuse scandal in 2011? This is not to say that there aren’t serious problems at CU. Clearly there are, and they are being looked into. My overarching point here is to do away with extreme statements and hyperbolic statements which only serve to make us feel better in our anger.

        1. ok, let’s look at this.

          you say, “My overarching point here is to do away with extreme statements and hyperbolic statements which only serve to make us feel better in our anger.”

          a reasonable-sounding statement.

          in your response to justicecollective, you said,

          “And the Board should absolutely remove Lt. Gen. Reno as acting president because he’s cut from the exact same fundamentalist, misogynist cloth!

          Such use of language sounds like secular-progressive claptrap. Why not just say that the Board should remove Lt. Gen. Reno due to his affiliation with White and his poor judgment?”

          secular-progressive claptrap — is that not extreme and hyperbolic?

          by that one 3-word combination you imply that anything secular is suspect. anything progressive is invalid.

          dan, your bias is showing (and am i correct in deducing that you’ve likely criticized your opponents for their liberal bias?)

          it seems you don’t like the word “misogynist”, perhaps because you feel it’s too extreme. An inaccurate thus unfair word to use.

          well, what does the word mean? the dictionary says, “a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.”

          does that mean that someone who is misogynist hates all women? hates their mother? their sister? their daughters? the kind woman who brought him brought him a meal in a time of hardship? do they feel no compassion for a woman who is suffering?

          a man can love these women in his life, and truly appreciate them, and feel compassion for a woman. And still be a misogynist.

          the earliest use of the word in greek literature was a description of an anti-social condition, a cultural attitude.

          i read the descriptions of things that have happened at Cedarwood University. they describe a mindset that denies freedoms, opportunities, and fairness to women. a mindset that prefers the male to the female. a mindset that sees women with less worth than a man.

          does this mean that every female is always denied freedom, opportunity and fairness? no.

          but it does mean that there is a cultural attitude of prejudice against females. It describes an organization that is misogynist. It describes leaders who behave in a misogynist way.

          “Stupid is as stupid does.”–Forrest Gump’s mom

          Prejudiced and misogynist is prejudice and misogynist does.

          It describes a place where women are “demeaned and denigrated in myriad ways” (in the words of justicecollective).

          You discredit and downplay the statements made in these comments as extreme and hyperbolic. On the contrary, these are entirely fair and accurate statements to make.

          1. Scottie, I am cut and pasting some of what I just replied to JS. Language matters. For example, being called a “racist” used to mean something. Whereas in our culture, it has been thrown around so much that the word becomes devoid of its true meaning. If everyone is a racist then no one is a racist. The same goes for people throwing around terms such as fascist and xenophobe. People have the right to use these terms in any context they choose if it makes them feel better. But I don’t have to agree with them, and I think it is unhelpful. Such language encourages and manifests in sweeping generalizations. That is my point here. If you disagree with me, then I will respect your right to disagree. But we are on the same page regarding the need to investigate the various issues at CU. And I believe that White will eventually be fired for his poor judgment concerning these issues.

          2. Dan, yes language matters. soft-pedaling female subjugation and misogyny by referring to it as ‘poor judgement’ rather than calling it what it is matters.

    5. “Do you think that most of the female students at CU are being demeaned?”

      Hi Dan, I’m a female who graduated from CU a year ago. I’m thankful for my education, but sexism is a problem. Here are just three examples

      1. During my freshman year, my academic advisor told me to think about my future husband and his career when choosing my major. I was discouraged from pursuing certain studies.

      2. I’ve been in a class with an outspoken girl who was criticized by the professor for challenging the perspective of male students during class discussions. The professor contrasted her to the quiet girls in the class. The outspoken girl was often the student with the most knowledge and shouldn’t have been discouraged from using her voice.

      3. A male student once said I was “too smart.”

      1. Hello Bri, Thank you for sharing your examples. There is likely this sort of sexism at many Christian colleges, which is why it is good for people to share their stories.

        1. Dan, you certainly have put a lot of time into writing about a situation about which you share that you have no direct knowledge. I would exhort you to stop focusing on what you call emotionalism. There is nothing wrong with having strong emotions about abuse.

          1. JS, if you think it’s helpful (and it makes you feel better) to throw around terms such as misogynist and toxic masculinity, then of course that is your right. And it you think it’s helpful to say that all the male students at CU have been manipulated to idolize Thomas White, that is your right too. But I don’t have to agree with it. I’m on the same page as everyone else here regarding the need to investigate all these issues at CU, and I believe White will eventually be fired for these issues. But language matters too. For example, being called a “racist” used to mean something. Whereas in our culture, it has been thrown around so much that the word becomes devoid of its true meaning. If everyone is a racist then no one is a racist. The same goes for people throwing around terms such as fascist and xenophobe. People have the right to use these terms in any context they choose if it makes them feel better. But I don’t have to agree with them, and I think it is unhelpful. Such language encourages and manifests in sweeping generalizations. That is my point here. If you disagree with me, then I will respect your right to disagree. But we are on the same page regarding the need to investigate the various issues at CU.

      2. This was not the case when I was a student in the ’90s. It breaks my heart that things have moved so far backward.

  10. As Scripture says it would be better for such people to avoid going into ministry. They would be better off frying fast food or digging ditches for a living. Christianity would be better off not having leaders than having such wolves. A good shepherd would do nothing less than direct the full force of his rod at any wolf that commits abuse, not at the sheep that were abused. Instead of protecting the flock so many join in the ravishing of these abused sheep. It really is hard to imagine how any person with a conscience could engage in victim blaming, much less people in ministry.

  11. A friend had to hire a Title IX attorney to get their complaint at their school (not CU) processed and through the system. It wasn’t a sexual assault complaint but from my understanding many schools sit on Title IX complaints unless a lawyer gets involved. That was years ago, though. Betsy Devos is rolling back Title IX laws as we speak so things are likely to get worse before better. How many women have been raped at CU and have had their complaints sat on? What is the span of years for the rapes/harassment cases? I’m from Ohio. CU is a very small school in a very small town. From time to time their antics are picked up on the news wires and have been for years. Hopefully now more people will learn what goes on there and people will stop enrolling until they clean it up. No way I’d send my kid there (male or female) or encourage them to go there at all. There are deep systemic problems at any organization where that much corruption is taking place.It’s easy to focus on the top figurehead (White). He definitely needs to go but honestly so does the entire Board of Trustees. There is no way that the Trustees are unaware of what is going on at that school. They read the news just like everyone else. They’re the top governing body and are there to set polices in the best interest of all stakeholders, including students. So, even if they claim they didn’t know about any of this they still need to resign because they’re not doing their jobs.

  12. I think another point needs to be made in light of the CU issues that are being investigated.

    Ohio is a heavily populated state with many colleges, and it’s unlikely that their numerous state schools are completely safe where no sexual assaults take place. In the state where I live, over the years some of the state schools have been known for having a wild party atmosphere. Are these schools safe for female students? Are the many sororities and fraternities at our secular state colleges safe for female students? There have also been students at some public college fraternities who have died while undergoing hazing activities. Shouldn’t there be pressure put upon the President and the Board of Trustees at these schools to be fired?

    In other words, let us do both. Let us hold our private Christian college leaders accountable, but let us do the same for the many public colleges in the states that we live in.

    1. Dan, certainly all of us can help hold college leaders accountable. Today, CU leaders need to be held accountable.

    2. Dan, I challenge you to show me in Scripture where “But the world does…” justifies a Christian’s sin. Show me where Jesus tells us to be sure to also hold the world accountable while repenting of my own transgression. You can’t. Scripture makes it clear that the sin of any other is irrelevant to my personal accountability to Christ.

      So what you’ve made sadly apparent here is where your true loyalties lie. In the comment above you’ve discarded the foundational Christian theologies of sin, repentance, and justification in order to deflect attention, and point fingers anywhere but Cedarville. You’re clearly not defending Christ and the church and its sacred doctrines, since you you have just so casually distorted them. No, you’re defending men and the institutions of men.

      Those public colleges you mention made no claims to provide a Christian atmosphere to their students. Cedarville did. They don’t claim that their leaders will live up to the standards of I Timothy 3. Cedarville does. Their teachers are not cautioned, as was Timothy White, that they shall receive the greater judgement. Whether you like it or not, judgement begins at the house of God.

      1. Lea, you said, “Dan, I challenge you to show me in Scripture where “But the world does…” justifies a Christian’s sin.” I can assure you it doesn’t, and I was in no way implying that it does.

        You also boldly asserted the following, “So what you’ve made sadly apparent here is where your true loyalties lie,” and “You’re clearly not defending Christ and the church,” and “you’re defending men and the institutions of men.”

        In response, you have no idea where my loyalties lie; I do indeed defend Christ and the church; and I am not defending men and the institutions of men. But thanks for sharing your omniscient knowledge of my loyalties and my motives. Below are statements I have made in this comment thread, which I cut and pasted for you.

        “So I have no desire to protect these leaders, and I believe it is both good and wise that much of these issues are coming to light. Clearly, hiring Anthony Moore was a terrible idea, and it does seem like there’s been a concerted effort to cover up much of this process, as well as the aftermath once it came to light. Also, it does seem like various cases regarding young women coming forward with their issues were not handled well at all. Thus, these cases need to be investigated.”

        I also said, “I’m on the same page as everyone else here regarding the need to investigate all these issues at CU, and I believe White will eventually be fired for these issues.”

        I also said, “I believe that White will eventually be fired for his poor judgment concerning these issues.”

        But I also said, “In other words, let us do both. Let us hold our private Christian college leaders accountable, but let us do the same for the many public colleges in the states that we live in.” This is because if we care about sexual assault against women, then we must do both, and I was merely pointing out the dangers at many of our secular state colleges. I wonder why you seemed so angry at this suggestion, especially since I am already in agreement about the need to investigate Thomas White (and others) as I outlined above. Yet you reflexively said, “you’re defending men and the institutions of men.” Nope, not even close Lea.

        You said, “Those public colleges you mention made no claims to provide a Christian atmosphere to their students. Cedarville did.” This was a surprising statement. When it comes to sexual assault against women on college campuses, it is both immoral and against the law no matter where it happens. So your statement about secular colleges not providing a Christian atmosphere is hardly the point here. My comments that you responded to were clearly talking about women’s safety regarding sexual assault on college campuses. There are far more secular colleges (and far larger ones too) than there are Christian colleges. That is why I said, “Let us hold our private Christian college leaders accountable, but let us do the same for the many public colleges in the states that we live in.”

        Of course secular college leaders will not subscribe to the standards of 1 Timothy 3. Again, that is not the point here. These leaders must still obey the law, and they must do whatever they can to ensure a safe environment for women on their campuses. This should hardly be controversial.

  13. I just want to say how horrified I am by everything that’s been reported the last couple weeks about the university. I am in shock. At this point on this discussion wall, I just want to focus back on Megan Lively. She was raped. She was then blamed and shamed by Paige Patterson and now we learn, by Thomas AND Joy White. And they all played a part in covering up her rape. This was enough to disgrace Patterson and get him fired. Although that happened in 2003, the same mistreatment is apparent in Kiara’s case, too. Then add in the hiring of Moore and all the cover-ups and deception. How is it possible Thomas White still has a job?

    1. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

      Thomas White (and wife) and everyone associated with them from SWBTS – including Jon Wood, Mindy May and Jason Lee need to be terminated. Anyone involved with the Anthony Moore “project restoration” should be terminated as well – Tom Mach, Loren Reno, trustees. And why, in heaven’s name, is the Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Marc Sweeney, still employed after admitting to an inappropriate and unprofessional sexual harassment incident.

      Cedarville University is a business, plain and simple. What they are selling is education with a Christian worldview. They are driven by the bottom line. White has a luxury home under construction, and pharmacy is a big draw for students… the stench is worsening with each day that passes.

  14. I agree with “A Mom”. Where is the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University??? How is it possible that Dr. White is still the President of Cedarville University? The Board should take a stand for ALL sexual abuse survivors. This is an opportunity to make a statement AGAINST such abuse and to do it swiftly.

    1. The board is primarily made up of White’s friends or people who would support his way of doing things. Paige Patterson wrote a book on the steps he used to take over the southern baptist convention years ago. He and others used those same steps to get rid of Dr. Brown et al.
      Slowly they/he have replaced others or put his people in positions on the board who control it. He also vacations with quite a few of them as seen on his social media.

  15. Believe me as a former board member and chairman, my husband tried very hard in 2012 to not let this happen…I am so sad for Cedarville and Jesus…

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