That's So Cedarville?

An overview of recent events at Cedarville University, from the release of the White Papers to the announcement of Cedarville University's tenth president: Dr. Thomas White.

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  1. The White Papers

  2. Dated September 2011, the following White Papers on Omniscience, Creation, and Justification were released to faculty early in the Spring 2012 semester, shortly before contracts were due to be signed. As a cursory examination of the documents reveals, they are poorly written and researched. However, according to the University website, the White Papers are "designed to clarify and elaborate on Cedarville University's doctrinal statement" and "are seen as a part of Cedarville University's doctrinal positions." 

    Nevertheless, it took *months* after an initial request was made by students to the administration before the University was willing to post the documents on its website for the general public to read. 
  3. The following pieces deal with the White Papers directly: 
  4. However, the first piece to quote the White Papers was the remarkably prescient article, Constituencies or Change?, written in April 2012 by Grant Miller and Kimberly Prijatel: 
  5. Although it took quite some time, Dr. Tom Cornman (CU Academic Vice President) eventually replied to Grant and Kimberly's piece on his personal blog at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester: 
  6. Dr. Michael Pahl Fired

  7. Sometime between the "Constituencies or Change?" Ventriloquist article and Dr. Cornman's blog post, during the summer of 2012, actions were taken against Michael Pahl to relieve him of his teaching duties (or, less euphemistically, to fire him). However, information regarding this dismissal process has been painstakingly difficult to acquire. The University's official statement regarding this incident, provided by Dr. Cornman and also Dr. John Gredy (Provost at Cedarville), reads as follows: 

    “Both parties agree that they desire to avoid publicity with respect to the matters giving rise to this agreement. Nonetheless, they also acknowledge there may, from time to time, be circumstances where it is in a party’s best interests to explain the situation leading up to the agreement for the Faculty Member to be relieved of his teaching duties at Cedarville University. Accordingly, when either party determines it is necessary to make a public statement with respect to these events, the following is to be quoted in full, with no deletion nor additions:

    "Dr. Michael Pahl has been relieved of his teaching duties because he is unable to concur fully with each and every position of Cedarville University’s doctrinal statement.  This decision was made following a review by the University administration and trustees prompted by Dr. Pahl’s recent book, The Beginning and the End:  Rereading Genesis’s Stories and Revelation’s Visions.

    "Dr. Pahl’s orthodoxy and commitment to the gospel are not in question, nor is his commitment to Scripture’s inspiration, authority and infallibility.  He is a promising scholar and a dedicated teacher, and he will be missed by his colleagues and students.  Nevertheless, the University has determined this decision to be in the best interests of its constituency at this time.”

  8. After obtaining the official statement above, Joshua Steele (Class of 2013) was the first to raise questions regarding Dr. Pahl's "dismissal" on his personal blog from September 20-22, 2012: 
  9. A little over one month later, Melissa Steffan of Christianity Today wrote the following piece:
  10. Michael Pahl himself was one of the first to respond online to the CT piece: 
  11. However, others quickly followed suit: