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.
FACT: Mrs. White never said anything negative about having women pastors.
FACT: Mrs. White said many positive things about women in ministry. For example: “There are women who should labor in the gospel ministry” (Manuscript 43a, 1898) and “tithe should go to [pay] those who labor in word and doctrine, be they men or women” (M.R. 1:263). (Click here for more of her statements.)
FACT: Ordination of women has been discussed in the Adventist Church since at least 1881. Mrs. White received the salary of an ordained pastor beginning in 1881.
FACT: By 1884, Mrs. White was listed as an ordained minister in the GC Yearbook. She held ministerial credentials from 1871 forward, and received an ordination certificate in 1883 and other years, including 1887, 1899, 1909, and 1913.
FACT: The vote in San Antonio is not about whether to have women pastors. For the past 25 years, since 1990, the official General Conference policy of the world church has authorized women to be commissioned as ministers.
FACT: We already have over 3,200 women pastors, including more than 120 in North America. We will continue to have women pastors regardless of the vote in July.
FACT: “Commissioned” women pastors already fulfill the same role and functions in the local churches, as their “ordained” male counterparts. (They both preach; give Bible studies; baptize; perform weddings, baby dedications, and funerals; officiate at communion; lead board meetings, etc.)
FACT: The distinction between “commissioned” females and “ordained” males has nothing to do with headship. A pastor is a servant and shepherd. “Christ, not the minister, is the head of the church” (EGW, Signs of the Times, 1-27-1890).
FACT: Both male and female pastors are dedicated in a ceremony of prayer and laying on of hands. But the male’s certificate says “ordained;” the female’s says “commissioned.”
FACT: There is no biblical, spiritual, or logical basis to perpetuate the discriminatory, man-made distinction between “commissioned” female pastors and “ordained” male pastors.
FACT: God said believers are one in Christ; there is no male or female in His sight. (Gal. 3:28)
FACT: Ellen White said: “The secret of unity is … equality.” (1SM 259)
FACT: “Adventist scholars, in 1975, found no theological obstacles to ordaining women to gospel ministry.” (Adventist Review, March 7, 1985)
FACT: The General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee majority concluded in 2014 that the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy allow (or do not preclude) the ordination of women as ministers.
FACT: The General Conference Biblical Research Institute concluded in 1976, “If God has called a woman, and her ministry is fruitful, why should the church withhold its standard act of recognition?”