Episode 53: How to Encourage College Students for Christ with Dr. Thomas White of Cedarville University

Thomas explains how running Cedarville University is a ministry opportunity, what a thriving Christian community looks like on their college campus, and how Cedarville is preparing for the college “enrollment cliff.”


Episode 53: Dr. Thomas White


July is college month here on Refining Rhetoric! For the next four weeks, we’ll feature a university that aligns with our values both in faith and education, as well as our mission to know God and to make Him known. This week, Robert speaks with Dr. Thomas White, the tenth president of Cedarville University in Ohio and a Classical Conversations® dad. Thomas explains how running Cedarville is a ministry opportunity, what a thriving Christian community looks like on their college campus, and how Cedarville is preparing for the college “enrollment cliff”—the decline in the population of college-age students starting in 2025. Plus, Thomas encourages parents homeschooling with Classical Conversations that they are doing more than enough to prepare their students for college-level education. And, if you or your student are considering pursuing a college degree, you’ll discover what opportunities are available at Cedarville. After the interview, Robert considers why Greta Thunberg’s doomsday prediction made five years ago did not happen, and Will theorizes why the U.S. government appears to be reversing some of its public opinions on crypto.


“To see that spiritual growth and to see [students] start owning it, to see them get excited and passionate about it, and then to see them go off and succeed in life—man, I love it. Just being able to see the light turn on in their eyes as they are understanding that they can live this life for Jesus and make a difference for Him. There’s nothing better than being able to watch that happen in the lives of students.”

Dr. Thomas White


  • Intro to Dr. Thomas White [0:45]
  • Thomas’s definition of “truth” [1:24]
  • The best part of being president of Cedarville University [2:02]
  • How running a college is a ministry [3:00]
  • The business-as-a-ministry challenges specific to running a college [4:40]
  • Preparing for the college “enrollment cliff” and why Cedarville is continuing to see growth [6:55]
  • Making tuition affordable for students [9:17]
  • 27 percent of Cedarville’s freshmen class is homeschooled [13:28]
  • Seeing students’ lives changed for Christ at Cedarville [16:36]
  • How Cedarville takes the Christian faith seriously: chapel, a required Bible minor, and student discipleship groups [19:55]
  • The most popular majors at Cedarville [23:32]
  • Community life, athletics, and extracurriculars [25:44]
  • How to get involved with Cedarville or learn more: visiting opportunities, free online Bible classes, and dual enrollment courses for high school students
  • Farewell to Thomas [29:42]
  • “Current Events Discussion”: Greta Thunberg’s fossil fuel doomsday prediction [30:44]
  • Ad: Classical Conversations Plus[33:08]
  • “Classical Crypto”: Why crypto is here to stay [35:00]
  • Outro [41:49]




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