We are sometimes asked for statistical and historical information on commissioning and ordination.
As of May, 2015: since the 2010 General Conference Session, six unions have voted support of women’s ordination: North German, Mid-America, Columbia, Pacific, Norway, and Netherlands. Apparently only three of those have actually started ordaining women as of May, 2015: Pacific, Columbia, and Netherlands. (China also ordains women pastors in compliance with government regulations.) More specifically:
- On March 8, 2012, the Mid-America Union’s executive committee voted to ordain women in ministry (but the vote was not implemented).
- On April 23, 2012, the North German Union voted to ordain women as ministers (but it is not clear to us whether they have yet actually ordained a woman).
- On July 29, 2012, the Columbia Union constituency delegates at a special session voted to authorize ordinations without regard to gender.
- On August 19, 2012, the Pacific Union had a special session to amend bylaws to make it clear that their executive committee can approve ordinations without regard to gender.
- On May 12, 2013, the Danish Union voted to treat men and women ministers the same, and to suspend all ordinations until after the topic is considered at the next GC session in 2015.
- On May 30, 2013, the Netherlands Union voted to ordain female pastors, recognizing them as equal to their male colleagues.
- On May 10, 2015, the Berlin-Central German Conference in a constituency session voted to implement women’s ordination.
For those interested in the process that some unions have followed, information about the Columbia Union process is available http://tinyurl.com/CU-WO-vote .
Detailed information on the Pacific Union’s process is here:
Another good resource of persons knowledgeable about historical and statistical information is the Facebook group, “I Support the Ordination of Women in Adventism.”
We do not keep statistics as to which unions throughout the world commission women ministers, but it is probably a moderate percentage since commissioning was officially approved by the General Conference for worldwide implementation in 1990. Approximately 11 of the 13 divisions have commissioned ministers (although we do not have a breakdown of how many of them are women). See the bottom of page 8 of this 2013 annual report. There may also be some helpful information in the General Conference Yearbook.
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