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Cedarville University

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Founders Hall, Cedarville University
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Devil's in the details

Cedarville University is an independent Baptist school located in Cedarville, Ohio, which teaches its academics "by Christian tradition" — meaning, believing that their take on religion is the only right view, that free speech is a no-no, that gays are evil, that evolution is religion and creationism is science, that the Bible is a history textbook and that any TV show/movie/video game/book they don't like is sinful. The school teaches Young Earth Creationism and complementarian gender roles and requires students to take a minor in Bible studies regardless of their major.

Staff and campus[edit]

The Cedarville University website states there are 347 full time staff and 38 part time staff. Like the staff of Bob Jones University and Liberty University, many of the "science" staff got their undergraduate degrees from Cedarville University; also one of the CU "Geology" professor's has a Masters "Degree" in Geology from the Institute for Creation Research. Accreditation is through the Higher Learning Commission,[1] a member of the Northcentral Association of Colleges and Schools.[2]

In April 2014 Cedarville fired an adjunct professor who, in challenging John Boehner in the Republican primary, played on the Speaker of the House's last name to compare grievances with him to the negative side effects of penis pills.[3]

Values, rules and regulations[edit]

The University has had an ongoing close relationship with Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis (AiG) and Creation Museum,[4]:210-215 so the following should be of no surprise.

The Cedarville Covenant[edit]

Students at Cedarville University go through the "Cedarville Covenant" when they enroll. The goal of the covenant is to make the students more "Christ-like".[5]

Things which are viewed as being "Christ-like" at this university include:[6]

No fun allowed[edit]

Additionally, "Decorations in your room should leave no doubt that you are a Christian student at a Christ-centered institution… Therefore, room decorations should not include obscene or suggestive materials or contain irreverent or sacrilegious slogans."[7]:9

"Students are required to return to their residence halls by 12 a.m. (midnight) on Sunday through Thursday and by 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday" and will receive fines either for arriving 15 minutes after curfew time or "assisting those entering a residence hall after curfew."[7]:12

Students are allowed to be away from campus on the weekends, though "for accountability, safety, and common courtesy, we ask students to indicate their plans to be gone overnight to their roommate and RA" and "because [Cedarville places] a high value on sexual purity and our testimony, students who stay overnight away from campus in groups that include the opposite gender should always have separate sleeping accommodations."[7]:12

To further promote their notions of "sexual purity" Cedarville has "single-gender residence halls" so students may not even visit an opposite gender friend in their dormitory until one of the "several occasions each semester with open dorm hours when students can visit friends of the opposite gender in their rooms."[7]:12

The banning of Entartete Kunst[edit]

Homer Simpson: Hey, what gives?! I thought you had a satellite dish!
Ned Flanders: Sure doodily-do. Over 230 channels locked out!
Homer Loves Flanders, The Simpsons[8]

Finally, the University also has restrictions on what media students are allowed to view.

Their guidelines on the subject begin by stating that "Current media rating systems provide a helpful starting point for the discerning Christian" but go on to state that "While there are many R-, TV-MA-, M-, and A- rated movies, TV shows, and video games that are clearly inappropriate, there are also many titles with less restrictive ratings (e.g., PG-13) that can be equally inappropriate."[7]:13

The following bulleted list is included in the student handbook as a set of "considerations for evaluating personal media choices":[7]:14

  • Does the primary theme encourage or celebrate vices like sensuality, selfishness, or violence?
  • Does the music, movie, or show help you to ask meaningful questions about life?
  • Is sexual promiscuity promoted, encouraged, or used for the sake of humor?
  • Does the message of this media show a respect for humanity and human life or is violence used gratuitously?
  • Does it glorify the use of profane and demeaning language or include excessive crude or obscene language?
  • Does it contain imagery that incites lustful or evil thoughts?
  • Ultimately, what would Jesus think of your choices in the area of entertainment? (Because a 2000 year old reanimated corpse knows what television is)

Censorship of The Ventriloquist[edit]

In 2014, copies of the ironically named school newspaper The Ventriloquist were confiscated by school officials. The reason? The paper contained a completely non-controversial interview with a former student who was stripped of all leadership positions by the administration because "[Student Life President John Wood] said he was not comfortable having a gay student in a positions [sic] of leadership, and so the article was just Avery's basically first-person account of what happened with that, and I have to imagine the administration wasn't especially fond of that," according to one of the writers.[9] The leader in question was known to be gay by the administration, and had even remained celibate per the school rules.

The Great Purge[edit]

In October 2012, president William Brown announced his resignation, followed by the resignation of vice president for student life Carly Ruby in 2013.[4]:212-213 These resignations were reportedly in response to a board of directors faction that feared creeping liberalism within the school.[4]:213 In Ruby's case it was specifically because of having too much compassion for students struggling with gender identity.[4]:213 In 2013, 29 staff members were removed due to an alleged financially-driven reduction in force.[4]:213 In the summer of 2014, there was a departure of 43 administrators, faculty and staff, some of whom where forced out, as well as the departure of 15 trustees many of whom departed because of a fundamentalist crackdown.[4]:213

Before the purge, Cedarville University had a 14-point doctrinal statement[10] that is not uncommon at fundamentalist Christian universities; it was not stated on the website that faculty were required to adhere to it. After the purge, the website states that all faculty are required to annually sign the doctrinal statements,[10] which have been expanded into three detailed documents.[11][12][13] Though the post-purge doctrine closely follows that of AiG, there is no evidence that AiG or Ken Ham were directly involved.[4]:214 The purge was so effective that the Trollingers have called the school "Answers in Genesis U".[4]:212

Academic programs[edit]

Cedarville offers programs in Bible studies, theology, health sciences, engineering, geology (Yes, they teach geology from both a "naturalistic" and a Time cube young earth creationist perspective), computer science, history, biology, chemistry and several other "science" and mathematics programs. Other degrees include "criminal justice", "social work" and "environmental biology", all taught with a Christian perspective (in contrast to the equivalent non-crank educations in said disciplines).

Geology Program[edit]

In the Cedarville University Geology Program, one of the goals is to "honor God" and to benefit society. Geologic, environmental, and engineering activities are often so intertwined that is it is sometimes hard to tell where the boundaries are during a particular project. Because of this overlap, Cedarville students are encouraged to have wide-ranging interests and experiences during their undergraduate education.


At Cedarville University, if a student has a Bachelor's degree in any scientific subject, said students can get internships at various places — colleges and universities (mostly religious schools), law enforcement, medical internships and if you have a geology degree a student can get an internship at the Creation Museum in Kentucky (No joke).

School of Pharmacy[edit]

CU has a Pharmacy school which offers degrees in Pre-Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy.

The Pre-Pharmacy program has the basic requirements for a Doctor of Pharmacy program (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Basic Pharmacology, Mathematics and everything else) but as with pretty much every Fundie school, degree programs are filled with unrelated and unnecessary bible/Theology courses.

In order to be accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program (Pharm.D) a student must have the science and mathematics prerequisites (like every other Pharmacy school) and a statement of belief in Jesus Christ (We cannot allow evil atheist liberal communists to taint Godly professions, can we now?).

External links[edit]