White matriculated at Wesleyan University in 1842 and graduated in 1845.
After graduation from Wesleyan, he spent two years in Yale studying medicine and theology, and sometimes preached in the nearby town of Milford, Connecticut. In September 1847 Moses White and Jane, along with Judson Dwight Collins, arrived in Foochow, beginning their missionary work there. Jane, however, fell sick shortly afterwards and finally died of consumption on May 25, 1848, at the age of 26.
In 1851, White was married a second time to Mary Seely, who came from Onondaga, New York and also went to Foochow as a missionary.
During his seven years in Foochow, Moses White conducted a school for the secular and religious instruction of the Foochow people, and after mastering the local Fuzhou dialect, he translated the Gospel of Matthew, which was the first Christian document ever published in that vernacular. At the same time, White also served as a doctor, studying and treating the toxic effects of opium.
He received an Doctor of Medicine degree from Yale in 1854. In July 1856, he published in Methodist Quarterly Review his summarizing treatise on Fuzhou dialect The Chinese Language Spoken at Fuh Chau.
White died on October 24, 1900.