From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Adventist Women: Same Ministerial
08 Apr 2000 02:09:08
Credentials as for Men
April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland
California: Adventist Women to Receive Same
Ministerial Credentials as Men
Riverside, California,USA. Seventh-day Adventist
Church administrators in the Southeastern
California area voted on March 16 to issue male
and female pastors in their district with the same
ministerial credentials. The decision by the
executive committee of the Southeastern California
Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SECC) is
believed to be a first for the Adventist Church,
which generally operates a two-tier credentialing
system for men and women.
"Treating women ministers without discrimination
in our conference has been a long-standing goal,"
said F. Lynn Mallery, SECC president. "The
document was adopted without one dissenting vote."
Women make up nearly 10 percent of pastors in the
60,000-member conference, which serves five
counties south and east of Los Angeles.
The new credential states that the individual is
an "ordained-commissioned" minister in good
standing. Adventist ministers receive the
credential after successfully completing
appropriate theological education, hands-on ministry
in a local congregation that shows their gift for
ministry, and an oral review and examination. They
are also "set aside" for ministry in a public
ceremony that includes prayer and the laying on of
"This procedure could show the way for the rest of
the [Adventist Church in North America] on how to
handle this matter with equality and yet abide by
the spirit and letter of Church policy," said
Thomas Mostert, president of the Adventist Church
in the Pacific Union region-a Church
administrative district that includes the SECC.
Mallery stated that, "We support the ongoing
mission of the 11-million member Church of which
we are a part. We respect the variety of views
that members elsewhere have on this subject. We
hope that our fellow believers will also respect
our moral conviction that men and women in this
conference who are equally qualified and have had
fruitful ministries should be treated in the same
Currently, the Adventist Church at large chooses
to recognise males who are set aside for gospel
ministry as being "ordained," while females are
designated as "commissioned." In comparison with
ordained ministers, commissioned ministers are
barred from performing three functions: they may
not organise churches; they cannot ordain elders
and deacons; and they are not eligible to serve as
a conference president. SECC accepts women
pastors who have met the same requirements as men
to be fully qualified and authorised within its
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .