BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. --- In an unprecedented move by the General Conference and Andrews Theological University, a solution has been reached in the debate over women's ordination. David Houston of the GC-based Biblical Research Institute announced that a completely new, gender-specific degree had been created. The Masters of Prophesy or M.Prop., is exclusively available to women and is aimed at placating their ordination ambitions while educating them in a traditional ministry role, following Ellen White's prophetic mandate.
Billed as a female-appropriate alternative to the Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) the only non-gender-related requirement for successful candidacy into the M.Prop. program is that the candidate be married to a male pastor of strong theological standing. "In the Bible, most prophets were men, our only prophet so far was a female. We therefore do not deem it appropriate at this time to offer prophetic training to men," said seminary spokesperson Torbjorn Nikason.
The new M.Prop. program is seen by church leaders worldwide as a groundbreaking step toward bridging what many see as a widening gap between anti-women's ordination church leadership and pro-women's ordination Adventist academia. Most other Adventist institutions offering the M.Div. have announced plans to follow suit, while La Sierra's HMS Richards Divinity School has, unsurprisingly, refused to cooperate.
Critics have attacked the creation of the M.Prop. as an attempt to keep women in a marginalized role where they can be ignored. One opponent of the new program has suggested that M.Prop. actually stands for "Master's Property." However, the vast majority of mainstream church members agree that the new program will bring much needed uniformity. Southern has already reported strong interest among its female Theology students as well as scattered reports of visions.
Special thanks to Charles Snitch for the guest post