In an article 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 cultural reasons for the No vote that took place on July 8, 2015, and 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 AToday.org 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

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

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

Adventist elder statesmen weigh in. Retired Adventist leaders whose ministries have been on a global scale, with impact on the church throughout the world, speak from the heart to support a Yes vote at the General Conference Session to recognize World Division decisions in the ordination of women. “From The Heart: Thoughts on Mission and Unity from Adventist Elder Statesmen.” Read more at AdventistElders.com. You can also download a beautiful printable PDF version.

Dr. Jon Paulien (theologian and Dean of the Loma Linda University School of Religion) explains why it is important to vote "Yes" at the General Conference Session, to allow divisions to decide for themselves whether to recognize ordination of women ministers: Continue reading

The General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) was the result of a request made from the floor by a delegate at the 2010 General Conference Session. The General Conference administration later took that request to the General Conference Administrative Committee for approval on September 20, 2011.

There have been a variety of commissions and committees studying women’s ordination since the 1970s, but the global General Conference TOSC was the first worldwide group elected to investigate the topic of women’s ordination. Continue reading

The Amazing Hao Ya Jie Story – Pastor Hao Ya Jie, a woman, is the pastor of the Beiguan Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shenyang, China. It started as a small group of 10 people in her living room in 1985. Now it has a membership of more than 7,000 and is considered the largest Adventist Church in the world. Pastor Hao oversees the day-to-day operation of the church, its lay-training program, a feeding program for the needy, and morning worship that starts each day at 5:00 a.m. with hundreds of members in attendance. The Beiguan church has prompted the growth of more than 120 church-plants. Continue reading