After Turbulent Year, Cedarville University Selects Theologian as New President
Update (June 6): Bloggers are pointing out that Cedarville's decision to hire a Southern Baptist president is an interesting move for the school. Cedarville's troubles first arose when the school, which formerly was affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC), partnered with Southern Baptists in Ohio. That move sparked Cedarville's disaffiliation with the GARBC in 2006—as well as the ongoing debate over Cedarville's theological identity. Turmoil resurfaced in 2008 when the school canceled a lecture by Shane Claiborne, who was criticized for being too liberal.
Trustees at Cedarville University have announced that Thomas White will serve as the school's next president.
White, who previously served as vice president for student services and communications (as well as associate professor of systematic theology) at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, was selected unanimously, according to the Dayton Daily News. He will succeed recently retired president Bill Brown beginning July 1.
"I will continue the Cedarville distinctives of the required Bible minor and chapel attendance for all undergraduate degrees," White said in a statement. "A biblical worldview will continue to guide every degree and every class. We will maintain a high academic standard not just for knowledge sake but so we may love God with all of our minds and follow him with all of our hearts."
Baptist Press offers more details.
White joins Cedarville after a turbulent year at the school, which included the resignations of president Bill Brown and vice president Carl Ruby, as well as the end of its philosophy major in spite of a student-led campaign to save it.
In October, CT reported on Cedarville's decision not to renew the contract of associate professor of theology Michael Pahl, who was "unable to concur fully with each and every position" of Cedarville's doctrinal stance as outlined in trustee-approved theological white papers.
The subsequent resignations of Brown and Ruby led concerned alumni, students, and faculty to suggest that trustees were purging the school's less theologically conservative members. Trustees told CT the events were unrelated.