Magazine article The Christian Century

Ordination of Women Is a Mistake, Say Adventists

Magazine article The Christian Century

Ordination of Women Is a Mistake, Say Adventists

Article excerpt

Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have said that recent decisions by two regional bodies to allow ordination of female pastors were "serious mistakes," and women who are ordained won't be recognized--at least for now.

"They directly challenge two world church decisions on the matter of ordination," reads a statement passed by a 264-25 vote on October 16 during the Annual Council meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland. "They create doubts about the importance of collective decision making as a basic feature of denominational life."

The decisions by the Maryland-based Columbia Union Conference and the California-based Pacific Union Conference came as the worldwide church is in the midst of a broad study of the "theology of ordination" that is expected to be considered at the denomination's 2015 General Conference Session.

Many Adventist women pastors hold a "commissioned" credential, which does not permit ordination, while most male pastors hold a "ministerial" credential, which does.

In 1990, the General Conference Session, the highest authority of the church, approved a recommendation that prevented authorizing ordination of women to ministry. That was followed by a 1995 rejection of a request by the North American Division to permit regional groups to authorize ordination regardless of gender. …

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