Cedarville University

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Cedarville University
Cedarville University (29554514795).jpg
Campus of Cedarville University
MottoPro Corona et Foedere Christi
Motto in English
For the Crown and Covenant of Christ; For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ (second motto)
TypePrivate university
Established1887; 135 years ago (1887)
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
SOCHE, Space-grant
Endowment$37.6 million (2020)[1]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
CampusRural, 441 acres
ColorsBlue and Gold
NicknameYellow Jackets
Sporting affiliations
MascotYellow Jacket

Cedarville University is a private Baptist university in Cedarville, Ohio. It is chartered by the state of Ohio, approved by the Ohio Board of Regents, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

At its founding, the school was affiliated with the conservative General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, General Synod, now Presbyterian Church in America.[3] Today, Cedarville is an independent Baptist school that is endorsed by the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.


Cedarville College was chartered in 1887 by the New Light Reformed Presbyterian Church; at the time, the surrounding township was largely Presbyterian. The first classes were held in 1892, though the college did not officially open until 1894. David McKinney was the college's first president.[4]

After McKinney, Wilbert McChesney served as president from 1915 to 1940. McChesney guided the college during World War I and the Depression, and also served as professor of New Testament when the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary was located at Cedarville. In addition to his duties at Cedarville, McChesney served seven terms in the Ohio Legislature.

Walter Smith Kilpatrick replaced McChesney, serving from 1940 to 1943. He is the only alumnus of the college (1934) to serve as president, having graduated with honors. Kilpatrick's brief tenure faced financial challenges and the impact of World War II.[5]

Ira Vayhinger became the college's fourth president in 1943 and served until 1950. He had served as general secretary of the local YMCA from 1911–1922. He joined Cedarville College in 1941 as finance director and business manager. As president, he guided the college through enrollment challenges and the difficult years of World War II.

E. H. Miller was appointed president in 1950. During his tenure, the college merged (1953) with the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland. Following the unanimous vote of both boards of trustees, the transfer of property occurred April 4, 1953. Miller's tenure as president ended in 1953.[5]

Leonard Webster, the dean of the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland, became president of Cedarville College in 1953. In 1953, the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland, Ohio, relocated to Cedarville's campus and transitioned into management of Cedarville College through a merger arrangement with the college's Presbyterian board of trustees, who each resigned in turn.[6] The Baptists were affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, a fundamentalist group which later dissociated itself from the college.[7] Webster led the move from Cleveland to Cedarville and hired new faculty to complement the existing Baptist Bible Institute professors. Webster represented Cedarville at national and state conferences of the Regular Baptist Churches to promote the college.[5]

James T. Jeremiah, Cedarville College's seventh president, began his tenure in 1954 and served until 1978. Under Jeremiah's leadership, Cedarville College transformed to an accredited institution of higher learning. College enrollment increased during Jeremiah's tenure, reaching more than 1,200 by the mid-1970s. The Jeremiah Chapel in the Dixon Ministry Center is named in honor of Jeremiah.[5] David Jeremiah, his son, is a noted alumnus and a former Cedarville trustee.[8]

Paul H. Dixon became eighth president of Cedarville College in 1978. Dixon expressed a strong desire for students to take part in the Great Commission. In his 25 years, Cedarville constructed $100 million in facilities and expanded from 180 to 400 acres. Cedarville attained university status in 2000 and programs of study grew to more than 100, including graduate degrees. Enrollment increased from 1,185 students in 1978 to more than 3,000 by the end of Dixon's service in 2003.[5]

Cedarville's ninth president, William E. Brown, began in 2003. Under his leadership, the university developed new online programs and launched the Pharm.D., M.S.N., M.B.A., and now-defunct M.Ed. programs. The campus expanded to include the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies and Health Sciences Center and renovated 14 residence halls. The university enjoyed high faculty morale and excellent student satisfaction survey results. Yet, mid-way through his tenure, President Brown experienced controversies regarding the lack of collegiality among Bible professors and the allegiance to the school's doctrinal statement, leading to the terminations of some professors, most notably, David Hoffeditz[9] and Michael Pahl.[10] As a result of ongoing problems, President Brown announced his resignation in October 2012. In January 2013, Inside Higher Ed characterized the university as being in the midst of an "ongoing, tangled doctrinal controversy."[11] Vice President for Student Life Carl Ruby resigned in January 2013.[11] The board of trustees eliminated the philosophy major at the end of the academic year.[11]

Elements of the school's heritage remain on today's campus in the form of one original building: Founder's Hall (Old Main).[12]

The university's seal has remained essentially unchanged from the Presbyterians' original design and still contains the Latin phrase "Pro Corona et Foedere Christi", which is translated, "For the crown and covenant of Christ". The original seal is surrounded with a slogan adopted by the former Baptist Bible Institute, "For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ".

Controversies under President White[edit]

Thomas White took office as president in July 2013, becoming the 10th president of Cedarville University. Under White's leadership, the university has completed an extensive renovation of the Jeremiah Chapel, built new science laboratories, established two additional graduate programs, and founded the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity.[5] President White has also been embroiled in controversies. In December 2013, twenty-year Cedarville professor Joy Fagan resigned, saying she did not fit the changing policies, including the new restriction of only female students allowed in the Bible classes taught by female professors. White claimed that his policies were in line with past values and Scripture, and were "not a new shift", although many alumni remember Jean Fisher, associate professor of Christian education,[13] who taught male and female students in the department under President Dixon.[14] In early 2014, White said that university was preparing to codify their complementarian stance concerning gender roles and re-wrote the school's doctrinal statement to reflect that change. Although egalitarian faculty existed, some felt they were no longer welcome. According to 100: Cedarville College, A Century of Commitment by J. Murray Murdoch,[15] the first doctrinal statement adopted by then-Cedarville College made no mention of gender roles or complementarian theology. White also said he was eliminating layers of leadership so that the presidential cabinet would have direct authority over the university.[14]

In April 2014, President White and Vice President of Student Life Jon Wood took copies of The Ventriloquist, an independent student newspaper,[16] during its unauthorized public distribution; the publication had previously reported alternative perspectives about the institutional changes and published LGBT-sympathetic content.[17] Per the Ventriloquist website, the paper recognized that they were outside the university life and chose to publish online.[16] Similarly, in the spring of 2017, immediately after the university earned reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, White and then-Academic Vice President Loren Reno instituted what they called the "Philippians 4:8 Policy",[18] which they claimed provided biblically consistent guidelines for faculty to follow but which some professors claimed amounted to censorship and the loss of academic freedom. They later changed the policy title to the "Biblically Consistent Curriculum (BCC) Policy," after two veteran Bible professors objected to this interpretation and application of Philippians 4:8. The policy still exists today and tightly regulates the literature, art, films, media, etc. faculty are permitted to use in the classroom.

Cedarville has also made national news for its handling of alleged sexual assaults. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into how allegations of sexual assaults are handled on campus.[19] In 2018, the chair of the university's board of trustees and White's mentor, Paige Patterson, was fired from his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) for covering up a sexual assault;[20] he subsequently resigned from the board.[21] In July of 2020, The Roys Report alleged that Thomas White and his wife, Joy White, aided in this cover-up during their time at the SWBTS.[22]

In recent years, students have also alleged that faculty and staff have failed to provide a safe environment for students,[23] discouraged them from seeking help while experiencing suicidal ideation,[24] and threatened retaliatory lawsuits against students for submitting Title IX complaints.[25]

On May 1, 2020, Cedarville's board of trustees placed President White on administrative leave. The board stated that it had learned additional details regarding White's hiring and subsequent firing of an admitted sexual abuser. Lieutenant General (Ret.) Loren Reno was appointed acting president.[26] While White claimed he did not know the extent of Anthony Moore's predation, the Village Church of Fort Worth claims to have provided him with a complete testimony at the time of Moore's hiring.[27] In June, the board reinstated White, leading to the resignation of Mark Vreogop and Danny Akin.[28]

Citing these controversies and high staff turnover, the Higher Learning Commission is conducting an assurance review into Cedarville University's accreditation status in 2020.[29]


A team from Cedarville University preparing to launch an autonomous surface boat in 2013 as part of a competition off campus.

Cedarville University offers more than 130 programs of study,[30] which cover most areas of the liberal arts, the sciences, professional programs, and theological studies. It also offers 40 minors, including a five-class Bible minor, which is required for all students. The university also awards graduate degrees in the areas of nursing (M.S.N.), business (M.B.A.), ministry (M.Min. and M.Div.) and pharmacy (Pharm.D.).

The university launched a School of Pharmacy in 2009 with 52 students beginning a three-year pre-pharmacy curriculum. The four-year professional graduate program (Doctor of Pharmacy) launched in 2012 culminating with the graduation of 48 Doctor of Pharmacy graduates in 2016. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.[31] The Doctor of Pharmacy degree is the university's only doctoral degree and provides patient care services and student education through Cedar Care Pharmacy and the Center for Pharmacy Innovation.[32]

The university employs more than 200 faculty in several academic departments and the schools of engineering, education, business, pharmacy, nursing, and biblical and theological studies. All of the professional programs are accredited by their respective accrediting agencies and in the 2016-17 academic year, the university received 10-years of accreditation from its regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).[33]

Academic faculty are required to commit to "biblical integration in and out of the classroom" and applicants must be born-again Christians.[34]

Spiritual life[edit]

Dixon Ministry Center

According to its mission statement, the university is, "a Christ-centered learning community equipping students for lifelong leadership and service through an education marked by excellence and grounded in biblical truth."[35] All students are required to earn a 15 credit hour Bible minor and attend weekday chapel services on-campus in the Dixon Ministry Center. Students are also encouraged to participate in various community service and ministry programs off campus.


Founders Hall

The university's original campus and facilities are in the village of Cedarville. Since about 1970, the school has purchased and consolidated surrounding farm lands which now total approximately 400 acres to the north and west of the village.

Among the few turn-of-the-century structures is Founders Hall, which houses the president's office and administrative functions.[36]

Students who choose to reside on campus live in single-sex residence halls. The university has eleven residences for men and nine for women, all with co-ed lounges.[37] Some students live in a suite-like setting, with three to four bedrooms sharing a small lounge in each unit. Others live in a single-room, hall-style format with communal lounges on each floor. Town homes are available for upper class and graduate students.

Newer athletic facilities cover the farthest northwestern reaches of campus, including a soccer stadium and baseball/softball fields. The university created the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course in 2006, located on the north end of campus and designed to host NCAA-sanctioned, as well as All-Ohio and National Christian College Athletic Association meets.[38]

Water tower[edit]

CedarvilleUniversityWaterTower .jpg

The water tower of Cedarville University is an iconic landmark on the university campus in Cedarville, Ohio. First erected in 1983,[39] the water tower underwent a $55,000 renovation in 2015.[40] The water tower is located behind Cedarville's athletic center and bears the school's mascot, a yellow jacket named Stinger, along with the university's stylized text logo. The aesthetic elements were added in the 2015 renovation by H2O Towers of Saline, Michigan. The job was completed in four days using high-gloss paint manufactured by Tnemec.[41] The water tower can be seen soaring over Cedarville University by southbound drivers on Ohio 72.[42] The tower serves as a landmark for one of the university's emergency telephones.[43]


BBI publications[edit]

Before Baptist Bible Institute merged with Cedarville College and relocated from Cleveland, Ohio, BBI published: 1) Marturion (a student yearbook), and 2) B. B. Eye, the only known archives of which are in the Cedarville University library and in the Louisiana Serials list.[44]

Present Cedarville publications[edit]

  • Cedars: news magazine and online news site by students for students[45] (subject to the BBC policy)
  • Cedarville Magazine: a publication for alumni and supporters of the university. Stories focus on the university's academics, campus life, ministries, and alumni.[46]
  • The Cedarville Review: The undergraduate literary journal (subject to the BBC policy)[47]


Known as the Cedarville University Yellow Jackets, Cedarville competes in 16 sports.[48] The official school colors are blue and gold. Cedarville is a dual member of two national athletics associations; the university is an NCAA Division II member as well as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The university became a full member of NCAA Division II on July 12, 2012.[49] In 2013 the university joined five other regional institutions to form the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.[50]

Prior to joining the NCAA, Cedarville competed as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in the American Mideast Conference (AMC).[51] Cedarville ended their affiliation with the NAIA after the 2010-11 academic year, after competing in the NAIA for over 60 years.[51] The university was one of the founding members of the AMC, then known as the Mid-Ohio League, in 1949.[51] In 2007, the women's track program placed 2nd in the nation among all NAIA divisions. Both the men's and women's basketball teams have advanced to the NAIA Division II national basketball championships. In 2005, the men's team made it to the NAIA Division II final four, and in both 2004 and 2005 the women's team competed in the NAIA Division II championship game. Cedarville's women's sports won the American Mideast Conference (AMC) All-Sports Award for the 2004-2005 season. The women's cross country team won the school's only NAIA national title in any sport in 2001. The Lady Jackets also claimed the 2008 All-Ohio Intercollegiate Cross Country Championship which features all of the colleges and the universities in the state. They are the only NAIA program to ever win the All-Ohio women's title.[52]

Since joining NCAA Division II, 10 Cedarville teams have competed in their respective NCAA Championships. Yellow Jacket golfer Jacob Forsyth competed in the NCAA Division II Super Regional (2013).[53] Carsyn Koch won the 800-meter race at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Indoor and Outdoor Championships (2016, 2017).,[54] competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016,[55] and competed in the U.S. Outdoor National Track and Field Championships (2017).[56] Dan Michalski won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Outdoor Championships (2017), becoming Cedarville's first men's NCAA Division II champion.[57]

Accreditation and involvement[edit]

Cedarville University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).[58] Its professional degrees are accredited by the appropriate specialized accreditor. Cedarville University is also approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

In addition, Cedarville is a member of the following organizations:[59]

Student organizations[edit]

Cedarville University offers nearly 120 different student organizations, from academic and professional, to social and service, to cross-cultural and special interest groups.[60]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Campus Profile 2017-18". Cedarville University. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Cedarville College: A Century of Commitment 1887-1987". Cedarville University. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  4. ^ "Origins of Cedarville University - Introduction-2007 - NCA Self-Study Document". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Past Presidents".
  6. ^ "Cedarville University Catalog 2003-2004" (PDF). Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  7. ^ "e-info: A Letter from the Chairman of Council of Eighteen: September 2005". Feb 11, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-02-11. Retrieved Dec 4, 2020.
  8. ^ "Board of Trustees".
  9. ^ Bailey Pulliam, Sarah. "Cedarville's Tenure Tremor". CT. Christianity Today. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Pant, Meagan. "Book Release Causes Problems for Cedarville Professor". Dayton Daily News. Dayton Daily News. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Libby A. Nelson (January 22, 2013). "A Campus In Turmoil". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  12. ^ "History of Cedarville University". Cedarville University. Retrieved Dec 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Eds., Beattie and Youngman, Sara and Myron (1985). Miracle Yearbook (1985 ed.). Cedarville University: Josten's.
  14. ^ a b "Christian College Solidifies Complementarian Stance". Gleanings - ChristianityToday.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  15. ^ Murdoch, J. Murray (1987). [n/a 100: Cedarville College, A Century of Commitment] Check |url= value (help) (First ed.). Cedarville, Ohio: Cedarville College/Josten's. p. 91.
  16. ^ a b "The New Ventriloquist". 2015-09-21.
  17. ^ Emily Tess Katz (May 1, 2014). "These Two Students Had Their College Newspaper Confiscated After Publishing An LGTBQ Article". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  18. ^ Shellnut, Kate. "Whatever Is Pure: Cedarville Requires Professors to Apply Philippians 4:8". CT. Christianity Today. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "Campus Sexual Assault Under Investigation at Cedarville University". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  20. ^ Shellnutt, Kate. "Paige Patterson Fired by Southwestern, Stripped of Retirement Benefits". News & Reporting. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  21. ^ Laissle, April (31 May 2018). "Paige Patterson Steps Down From Cedarville University Board of Trustees, Following New Allegations". Wyso. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  22. ^ "Rape Victim Whose Story Ousted Paige Patterson Says Cedarville Pres Thomas White Was Part of Cover-Up". The Roys Report. 2020-05-21. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  23. ^ "Rape Victim at Cedarville Asks: "Where was my protection?"". Julie Roys. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  24. ^ "Former Cedarville Student: I was told, "It was a stupid decision to go to the ER for being suicidal"". Julie Roys. 2020-06-02. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  25. ^ ""You Are Made to Feel Like an Enemy": Even More Stories from the Toxic Academic Community that is Cedarville | Righting America". Righting America. 12 June 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  26. ^ Roys, Julie (2020-05-01). "Cedarville U Places President Thomas White on Administrative Leave; Appoints General Reno Acting President". The Roys Report. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  27. ^ "The Village Church Disputes Account by Cedarville President Regarding Anthony Moore; Names Others It Told About Moore's Past". Julie Roys. 2020-05-01. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  28. ^ Shellnutt, Kate. "Cedarville President Reinstated Despite 'Clouding' Former Employee's Past Abuse". News & Reporting. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  29. ^ "Higher Learning Commission".
  30. ^ "About Academics".
  31. ^ "Cedarville University School of Pharmacy".
  32. ^ "Cedar Care Village Pharmacy - Your Local Cedarville Pharmacy". www.cedarcarerx.com. Retrieved Dec 4, 2020.
  33. ^ "Higher Learning Commission".
  34. ^ "Higher Ed Jobs Recruitment listing".
  35. ^ "Mission Statement". Cedarville University. Archived from the original on 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  36. ^ "Campus Map". Cedarville University. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  37. ^ "WalkingTour".
  38. ^ "Elvin R. King Cross Country Course - Facilities - Cedarville University".
  39. ^ https://www.cedarville.edu/~/media/Files/PDF/Library/Archives/cubuildingshistory.pdf
  40. ^ "Water tower gets a makeover".
  41. ^ http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1164&context=news_releases
  42. ^ "Cedarville Makes Changes to Campus, Names Faculty to New Positions". 2015-09-28.
  43. ^ https://www.cedarville.edu/-/media/Files/PDF/Campus-Safety/Security-Report.pdf?la=en&hash=D76E298C2749E1E140EC5B694F4556910D3383A1
  44. ^ "Louisiana Serials List". Archived from the original on 22 February 2001. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  45. ^ "Cedars".
  46. ^ "Cedarville Magazine".
  47. ^ Graff, Andrew. "The Cedarville Review". The Cedarville Review. Department of English, Literature, & Modern Languages.
  48. ^ "Men's Basketball vs Campbellsville-Somerset - Friday, November 16 - Gameday".
  49. ^ "New members for 2012-13 could include Association's first Canadian school". NCAA. July 13, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  50. ^ Jablonski, David (October 17, 2011). "Urbana, Cedarville join Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC)". Springfield News-Sun. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  51. ^ a b c "Yellow Jackets are NCAA members". Cedarville University. July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  52. ^ "Cedarville University Annual Report - 2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on Nov 9, 2006. Retrieved Dec 4, 2020.
  53. ^ [1][dead link]
  54. ^ "NCAA Champion! Koch back-to-back winner in 800". Cedarville University Athletics.
  55. ^ "Tom Archdeacon: Cedarville's ultimate 'outdoor champ' headed to Olympic Trials".
  56. ^ "Koch invited to US Track and Field Championships".
  57. ^ "Cedarville's Daniel Michalski won 2017 NCAA DII steeplechase title with seven-second PR".
  58. ^ "Statement of Accreditation Status". Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  59. ^ "Memberships". Cedarville University. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  60. ^ "Student Organizations".
  61. ^ "Rio 2016 Schedule & Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved Dec 4, 2020.
  62. ^ "Rio 2016 Schedule & Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved Dec 4, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°44′51″N 83°48′40″W / 39.74750°N 83.81111°W / 39.74750; -83.81111