Slide show: 28 Fundamental Reasons Adventists Should Ordain Women

Decisions, decisions.....

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It's almost time for our trusty delegates to vote on the issue of women's ordination at the General Conference Session in San Antonio this July. If they vote YES, then each of the 13 world divisions of the Adventist Church will get to decide whether or not to ordain women as pastors in their parts of the world. If the delegates vote NO things could get dicey (to say the very least) because a blanket ban on women's ordination will be put in place internationally. If you are anything like us, you may be dealing with information overload with all the arguments for or against women's ordination. To help illustrate the issues we thought a little slide show about why to ordain women would be in order...

All kidding aside, click to learn more about Union College

*Serious props to Ty Gibson for his insightful thoughts and points about women’s ordination which informed many of the above slides. You can read his take for yourself here:

Tell the World: The Inspiring Story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church


  1. Kay Rosburg

    I’m not used to seeing a “serious” take on the SDA church here, but your take on this was really great! Thank you for taking this on in a scholarly and serious way. Having worked toward equality in Adventist ministry for 27 years and counting, it is so affirming to see more and more people realizing that we need ALL of our gifts and talents to lead people to Christ. Let’s keep praying for the delegates at GC session over the next few weeks!

  2. nan

    Great slideshow. The intro needs tweaking though. This sentence isn’t accurate: “If the delegates vote NO things could get dicey to say the very least because a blanket ban on women’s ordination will be put in place internationally.”

    • nan, you are right. As Dr. Monte Sahlin said recently: “the Annual Council set up the question on ordination as essentially an opinion poll. It does not amend the bylaws. It does not add anything to the Fundamental Beliefs. It does not change the Working Policy. And it will not change what most Adventists believe on the topic. Nor does it change what will happen in the long-term future.”

      A “No” vote will leave “commissioning” of women pastors in place internationally. (The GC voted in 1990 to “commission” women pastors, and they can do virtually everything that ordained pastors do.) Individual divisions and unions will arguably still have authority to ordain women, as Raj Attiken has explained.

  3. Sevvy, excellent points. I would only suggest a minor correction to slide 29: “There’s no denying that women are producing good fruit, showing evidence of God’s power and leadership in their lives. Why not give them the authority we give to men doing the same work?”

    Ordination is not really a matter of authority–and I don’t think women pastors are seeking any greater “authority.” It is simply a human recognition of the calling that God has placed upon a person to be a minister.

    I would suggest revising the last sentence to read: “Why not recognize them to have the same ministerial calling from God, as we recognize for men doing the same work?”

  4. APlusDave

    “Eve got us into this mess” is a dumb point to make – and that actually proves the “women should be ordained” issue.

    Adam was appointed the ‘leadership’ role at that time because he had been there longer. He failed to be the leader and allowed his (small) congregation to be seduced by Satan. If both had stayed together we might still be in the garden.

    So instead of punishing Eve for the failed leadership of Adam, let us instead invite all of those who are able to lead effectively the complete opportunity to do so.

    • Douglas

      Too sad to read this, that it’s papal theory to oppose women ordination to headship. This human opinion and has no biblical basis. May you be informed that pope has endorsed women ordination into headship. Infact those in support are working on behalf of papacy to taint the remnant church. We are much awhere of the financiers of women ministry.

    • Lindy

      The argument that a women got us into this mess is absurd at best. Every time I hear how Eve was the one who caused us to all be of sinful flesh, it points out how you really didn’t understand the story. Eve was “beguiled” and mislead by the serpent, while Adam knew exactly what he was doing when he took the apple. So who was the greater sinner? The one who was deceived or the one who knowingly ate? It’s not a hard answer to come up with. I guess Adam couldn’t get the thought of Eve’s charms out of his mind.

      Find a better argument…this one doesn’t work.



  6. Jack Price

    Reason # 29: God is the one who chooses whom to call to the ministry. God is the one who ordains them. When God calls and ordains people to ministry, who are we to try to stop them, or to fail to recognize God’s calling upon them?

  7. Women have served as pastors in the Adventist Church since 1872. There were many female pastors in Ellen White’s era — about twice as many per capita as there are today. Women pastors have been fully authorized by the GC as “commissioned” ministers since 1990. They already perform the same functions and have the same authority as ordained ministers.

    They already go through the same kind of consecration ceremony with the “laying on of hands.” The only difference is the word that is printed on their certificate (“commissioned” instead of “ordained”). The only real issue now is whether the individual world divisions can choose to call these female pastors “ordained” instead of “commissioned.” There is no point in continuing to discriminate between these two words. The Spirit of Prophecy uses the terms “commissioned” and “ordained” interchangeably. They mean the same thing. There is no reason not to use the word “ordained.”

    The General Conference Biblical Research Institute concluded way back in 1976: “If God has called a woman, and her ministry is fruitful, why should the church withhold its standard act of recognition?” William G. Johnnson (retired Adventist Review editor) put it this way: “If God has given His stamp of approval to women in ministry (through the GC action in 1990), who are we to withhold official recognition?” Let’s stop arguing about it and just do it.

  8. Jan

    I hope that no one tries to take away from the fact that we have already been ordained, as God formed us in our mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 We are called from our very beginning. Don’t try to put the weight of personal opinions above the work of our Creator God.

  9. Jean Wruck

    That was more right on than satire! I just finished reading Ty’s article this morning and all I would have needed to do is read your summary, it took a lot less time! I love your page. I think it is important to be able to laugh at ourselves.

    My biggest concern is the divisiveness this is causing! Personally I don’t really care about the ordination issue. Yes, I’m a woman, but I’ve never the desire or the slightest call to be pastor. What I do care about is the taking sides. I’ve seen people leave the church over Christmas trees. Let’s please look at the bigger picture and Ty said it so well in his article.

    OK, now to the satire. If I had written your article it might have gone something like this:

    Women should not be ordained and should definitely not be allowed to be pastors. Men’s voices are much more pleasant to listen to. I apologize to all my sisters in the church, but seriously some women’s voices can really grate. Same goes for singing, while we are about it lets ban women from singing. Who wouldn’t prefer to listen to a men’s quartet instead of a women’s. etc. etc.

  10. Matswatswa

    The question of women ordination is not the mission of Christ on earth. The church also should not be internally focused wasting time with careerism. Externally focused organisations align their internal process and systems to their environments. Ordination is an internal matter and saving souls is key.

  11. John

    Point 7 Common sense:
    “Is there anything about human anatomy that should disqualify a woman to serve God as an ordained minister”? If that were the case then many men shouldn’t be ordained. It seems many are missing a part of their anatomy… not having the …… to stand up for what they know to be the correct

  12. Twumasi

    This really tells me the end time is near. After this what follows???? Gay right??? Incest marriage?? Mention them for me. May God have mercy on us all.
    Mathew 22:14 “for many are called, but few are chosen”

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