December 03, 2013 – Silver Spring, Maryland, United States…ANN staff
More of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s 13 world divisions are preparing their recommendation to the world church’s Theology of Ordination Study Committee.
The denomination is in the midst of a five-year process of studying the biblical foundation of theology as it relates to gender and its implications if women were to be ordained. The Adventist world church does not ordain women as ministers.ANN previously reported that the North American Division at its Year-End Meeting recommended that women be ordained as ministers. Now, more divisions are reporting their recommendation:
The Inter-European Division, based in Berne, Switzerland, released a statement saying it will recommend to the committee that there is room for the church to ordain women.
A spokesman for the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, based in Pretoria, South Africa, said in an email to ANN: “The action taken by the [division’s committee] supported the position against the ordination of women to the gospel ministry” and “in the absence of clear biblical revelation, the established model and practice of ministry should be upheld.”
The Trans-European Division, based in St. Albans, England, reported it would recommend an inclusive ministry without gender distinction.
The South Pacific Division, based in Waroonga, New South Wales, Australia, said it does not see any scriptural principle that would be an impediment to women being ordained.
ANN will report the recommendations of the rest of the 13 world divisions as they become available.
The five-year process was established following a pledge at the denomination’s General Conference Session in 2010. Each of the Adventist Church’s 13 world divisions has formed its own Biblical Research Committee and is preparing its own report. Several study sessions of the full committee have already met. World church officials have promised to bring back a compiled report to the 2015 General Conference Session.