Cedarville University fires professor with history of sex abuse, president apologizes

Cedarville University in Ohio has started implementing the Biblically Consistent Curriculum policy based on the teachings in Philippians 4:8.
Cedarville University in Ohio has started implementing the Biblically Consistent Curriculum policy based on the teachings in Philippians 4:8. | (PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/NYTTEND)

A Midwestern Christian university has terminated a theology professor in light of new information that has emerged about his past related to sexual abuse.

Cedarville University fired Anthony Moore last week on sexual misconduct grounds, a move which comes approximately three years after the Baptist liberal arts college in western Ohio learned that Moore had secretly filmed a male youth pastor showering at Moore's home on several occasions, according to independent investigative journalist Julie Roys.

The firing, however, came about when the university found out about Moore's previous abuse while a pastor at The Village Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Cedarville University President Thomas White told Roys that Moore had been hired in 2017 on a probationary basis and joined the university faculty concurrent with a five-year "restoration" plan. Yet upon discovery that the filming took place over the course of several months and was not limited to a shorter period of struggle, Moore was let go.

“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.”

The Cedarville University president reportedly spoke with the victim last week and confirmed that it had taken place over many months.

Moore had been fired in 2017 from The Village Church in Fort Worth for what Lead Pastor Matt Chandler referred to as a "sin issue" and “grievous immoral actions against another adult member that disqualify him as an elder and staff member."

Roys obtained a report that the youth pastor who was filmed had filed a complaint with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office in October 2018, alleging that Moore had videotaped his youth pastor multiple times. But the youth pastor never pressed charges.

The youth pastor discovered he was being secretly filmed in January 2017 when he found a phone belonging to Moore wrapped in a towel with the lens sticking out sitting in a window well above the shower in Moore's home. The youth pastor searched the phone and discovered four other similar videos which he then forwarded to his own phone.

Moore reportedly confessed to the filming in 2015, but according to the pastor who was filmed it was part of a larger pattern of relational abuse and toxic co-dependency.

“The way manipulators work in uncertainty and confusion just develops a deep fog,” the youth pastor told Roys in an interview, explaining why he is now speaking out.

“And it’s not until you’re removed from the fog that you can see.”

White apologized in a Monday video statement for bringing Moore to the school.

"I’m sorry that I brought Anthony Moore to Cedarville University. 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. There are no other plans for restoration like this on campus," he said.

"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."

White also promised that during the summer he and other key leaders would go through victim prevention awareness and advocacy training.

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