Confused about ordination? Watch this video! Dr. George Knight, professor emeritus of church history at the SDA Theological Seminary, clears up the confusion. Dr. Knight is a leading Adventist historian, theologian, author, and educator. He is the best-selling Adventist author of the past 30 years and is one of the most influential voices in the denomination. Here is a brief summary of some of the fascinating facts explained by Dr. Knight in the video:

1. Ordination is not a biblical concept (it is a post-biblical Catholic concept).

2. The laying on of hands is a biblical concept, but they received their “commission from God Himself, and the ceremony of the laying on of hands added no new grace or virtual qualification.” It was simply a human recognition that God had called the person. (AA, p. 161)

3. After Bible times, the Catholic church started to associate “ordination” with Continue reading

Bible Study: What Does the Bible Say About Women’s Ordination? How does the creation story of Genesis 1, view male and female in relation to each other? What practice do we see in the Old Testament regarding women leaders over men? How did Jesus treat women, and why? What does Paul mean about not permitting women “to teach” in 1 Timothy 2? In this succinct study, theologian Dr. Ron du Preez and Dr. Cindy Tutsch (a retired associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate), delve deeply into Scriptures to explain the context and culture involving some of the most misunderstood and misused biblical citations used to withhold women’s ordination. Continue reading

The highly-respected minister, scholar, and leader Dr. Calvin B. Rock recently offered some valuable counsel regarding women’s ordination in this video and the message below:

“I think that the essential understanding is that of giftedness. The scriptures do not say in Joel 2, ‘God’s going to pour out his spirit in some limited manner on one group or the other.’ Giftedness, as described in I Corinthians and Ephesians and other places, does not come to us with gender label.

“For me, the whole ordination question boils down to one simple question: Does this person have the gift? And the other part of that question is: If so, who are we not to recognize it? Continue reading

In honor of Women’s Equality Day, commemorating August 26, 1920 when women received the right to vote in the USA. But before there was Congress, there was God–who created male and female as equals. “There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28)

“Men & Women, Ordained by God, Ministering as Equals. Galatians 3:28.”

God ordains men and women to serve as pastors, evangelists, and ministers for the salvation of souls. “There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28) “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit.” (Acts 2:18)

(These lapel buttons are available through Davidson Originals.)

Elder Charles Bradford, retired President of the North American Division (1979-1990), gave this inspiring message on women’s ordination in 1991, reminding us that the Holy Spirit determines to whom He will give the gift of ministry, and the Church should recognize those who have received it. Elder Bradford declared: “A gift is a terrible thing to waste.” Continue reading

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19). We are thankful for the Adventist women in ministry who have answered the Spirit’s call. Here are some of them, doing what they love most: helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Don’t miss the video under the photos. Continue reading

As the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee prepared to review its position on August 19 regarding whether to have a special constituency meeting on women’s ordination, the committee received input from constituents. Here are two open letters written to the executive committee by constituents. Continue reading

“Rights and Wrongs” – The Real Issue in Women’s Ordination. In this presentation in Loma Linda on January 24, 2015, Kessia Reyne Bennett explained that the real issue is not who has the right to choose ministry for themselves; the issue is God’s right to choose whom He will. This is an important contribution to the discussion on women’s ordination.

“Recognizing the Holy Spirit-ordination of women into the gospel ministry with full ecclesial authorization (what we currently call ‘ordination’) is important because to reject, de-legitimize, or neglect His movement is an affront to the Spirit’s authority and to His right to do with us whatever He wants.”

She points out that “issues of church policy, Continue reading

On August 8, 2015–one month after the vote at the General Conference Session–President Dave Weigley of the Columbia Union presented this sermon about various forms of oppression he has seen, from the streets of inner-city Baltimore to the halls of ecclesiastical decision-making in San Antonio.

When God has called a woman to the ministry, it is a mistake for the Church to treat her as a second-class pastor. But, drawing parallels to the Continue reading

Dr. William G. Johnsson was the Editor of the Adventist Review from 1982 to 2007. Based on his 40 years of study and observation on the ordination issue, he urges the Church to take the logical and biblical step of recognizing women’s ordination. In 1990 the General Conference recognized that God has given His stamp of approval to women as ministers; so who are we to withhold official recognition? Dr. Johnsson issued this statement before the 2015 GC Session, saying “We cannot go back, we must go forward.” Continue reading

Like Jonah in the Bible, Hyveth Williams was reluctant to answer God’s call to ministry. She used to denounce women’s ordination and proclaim that females must not be pastors — because she was trying to convince herself that God was not calling her. This background helps her to be understanding and forgiving of those who oppose women in ministry. We are fortunate, however, that she finally answered God’s call. Listen to her brief but powerful testimony.

Dr. Williams served as a senior pastor for 20 years, most recently as senior pastor of the Loma Linda Campus Hill Church, before accepting a call in 2009 to join the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, where she trains pastors in Christian Ministry and Homiletics.

On July 8, 2015, Dr. Jan Paulsen, past president of the General Conference, made an eloquent and powerful appeal to the Church to recognize that God calls both men and women to ministry, and we should trust the leaders of our respective Divisions to make wise decisions about what works best in their territories regarding ordination. Reminiscent of another great presidential speech of history, a fitting title would be “The San Antonio Address.” Here is the full text:

I appeal to my brothers and sisters to vote “Yes” on the motion before us. A “No” vote will Continue reading

In an article (“Church Needs Women Ministering to Women”) published on July 12, 2015, a young woman in Africa tells her story of sexual abuse by a male pastor, showing one of the reasons we need more women in the ministry. Her description of the culture and societal traditions also sheds some light on why some cultures may resist having women in ministry. Continue reading

UPDATE July 8, 2015, 6:15 pm CDT: Out of the 2,363 delegate votes, 977 were in favor of the motion. 1,381 were against. (41.3 percent were in favor). Thus, the status quo remains. Women ministers will still be commissioned per the General Conference action of 1990; and the unions retained the authority to decide on women’s ordination. The following article was originally published the day before the vote. It also contains important information that will help to make sense of what the vote means now and how the unions can move forward.

Jared Wright of Spectrum explained what the vote on women’s ordination actually means and what it does not mean.

On Wednesday (July 8), General Conference Session delegates in San Antonio, Texas will vote on what has been the most talked about (and perhaps least understood) issue in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this quinquennium: ordination. For all of the discussion of the issue, many misperceptions of its significance persist.

Currently, women in the Adventist Church not only can and do serve as ministers, but they are also Continue reading

After the “No” vote on July 8, the unions still retain the authority to decide on women’s ordination. This article was originally published on a few days before the vote. It also contains important information that will help to make sense of what the vote means and how the unions can move forward.

On Defining Rebellion: Unions and San Antonio

At this year’s long-anticipated General Conference session in San Antonio, delegates will vote on whether each Division may decide for themselves whether to ordain women. With all of the hype, the Internet war, and the mass mailings, it may help to step back and consider whether we are asking the right question. While all of the church is swept up in the argument over Divisions deciding for themselves, perhaps we need to ask, whose decision is it, really? Continue reading

Ty Gibson, co-director of Light Bearers, posted “A Closer Look at Women’s Ordination” (or printable PDF or Spanish) on June 5, 2015, as the result of an arduous 5-month study that began on January 14.

Ty says, that is when “I decided that it is time for me to knuckle down and study the subject of women’s ordination for myself” because “my church is engaged in a titanic conflict over the subject.” He came into the study with a mind set against WO. But he decided to study with an open mind, trying to lay aside his biases and preconceptions on the topic, and simply examine what the Bible and the writings of Ellen White have to say. Continue reading

“It is not always men who are best adapted to the successful management of a church.” (Pastoral Ministry, p. 36)

“The refining, softening influence of Christian women is needed in the great work of preaching the truth.” (Review and Herald, Jan. 2, 1879)

“It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 322) [See detailed word study of “pastor” and “minister” in EGW’s writings.]

“There are women who should labor in the gospel ministry.” (Manuscript 43a, 1898) Continue reading

On June 19 Pastor Ty Gibson of Light Bearers published “Women’s Ordination: Is the Church Free To Act?” —a powerful follow-up to his excellent “A Closer Look at Women’s Ordination.” Ty explains that the church is free to act on the ordination question, to do what is best for the mission of spreading the Gospel. It is an ecclesiastical (church operational) decision, not a theological issue. Continue reading

There is so much misinformation floating around about women’s ordination. There is nothing like a dose of truth to clear up the malady of confusion. Here (also in Spanish) is a logical, succinct list of facts about ordination of women in ministry:

FACT: The SDA Church has had women pastors since at least 1872.

FACT: There were many more women pastors in Ellen White’s day, proportionately, than now. Continue reading

Matthew Quartey, an Adventist scholar from Africa, notes that all eyes are on the delegates from Africa because there is a growing sense that their three divisions, comprising roughly 23% of the delegates to San Antonio, will determine whether the measure on women’s ordination is accepted or rejected. He urges African General Conference delegates to vote Yes. They need to understand that God ordains men and women equally and His church should, too.

Dr. Quartey suggests, “As you vote on the issue of WO next month in San Antonio, think about the future generations of African Adventists Continue reading