Cedarville University has put its president on leave and plans to investigate his hiring and the actions of a former faculty member dismissed over sexual misconduct allegations.
The Ohio-based independent Baptist school’s board of trustees put President Thomas White on administrative leave last Friday in response to White’s hiring and firing of theology professor Anthony Moore.
In a statement released last Friday, the trustees said that they were going to have an independent firm investigate the matter “to ensure nothing inappropriate involving Dr. Moore took place on our campus or with any of our students elsewhere.”
“This firm will report to the board, and the board will then report the findings to the Cedarville University community at-large,” they stated.
“We are retaining an independent firm to conduct an audit of the entire process surrounding the hiring of Dr. Moore. This will include a thorough review of all relevant communication involving Dr. White and Dr. Moore, the trustees, The Village Church, employment references, etc.”
The trustees appointed retired Lt. Gen. Loren Reno, who was already working at the office of the president at Cedarville as a senior adviser to serve as acting president.
“Dr. White has pledged his full support of both internal reviews being conducted and will make himself available to respond to either inquiry as requested,” continued the board.
“As our Cedarville University community processes this situation, we pray we would do so with humility, grace, mercy, integrity, civility, and respect. Above all, we pray God would be honored by our deliberations and actions.”
Last month, White fired Moore after revelations surfaced that Moore had engaged in a pattern of abuse, which included while served as a pastor at The Village Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
Moore had previously been dismissed by Village Church in January 2017 when it was discovered that he had secretly videotaped a male youth pastor showering in Moore’s home. Cedarville hired Moore months later.
Julie Roys, an investigative journalist, reported an interview with White in April wherein the Cedarville president said that he was unaware of the extent of Moore’s abusive behavior.
“My understanding of what happened was it was not a habitual issue,” White told Roys. “It was a struggle that arose from previous abuse and curiosity and then it was repented for.”
White added that once he spoke with the victim of Moore, he opted to fire the professor, saying that “we took the action we needed to take.”
In a video released last month, White apologized for hiring Moore and expressed his support for an investigation into whether Moore engaged in similar behavior on campus.
“I did not know all the information at first. When we learned the new information, we took the action needed. Dr. Moore violated our agreement,” stated White at the time.
“Even though no incidents were reported by students, I’m recommending to the board of trustees that we hire an outside, independent agency to confirm that nothing inappropriate occurred on our campus, with that report to go directly back to the board of trustees.”