Post 52: More on the Ordination of Women

In a “breaking news” item this week, Adventist Today ( reports that the Mid-America Union has voted “to support the ordination of women” in its territory.

The Mid-America Union territory embraces the local conferences that administer Adventist churches in the states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, plus San Juan County in New Mexico.

As an historian, I believe that the evidence suggests the day will come when the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a General Conference session will again  conclude (like it did in the 1880s) that “with perfect propriety” women who have appropriate qualifications can be ordained to the gospel ministry.

It may help us if we realize that the commissioning we currently authorise for women is actually closer to the biblical pattern than ordination is-see the Adventist Today blog on this subject by Dr David Newman.

In short, to keep abreast of “breaking news” in the church we love, you may like to log on to and

Perhaps now might be a good time to re-read the blog that I posted on this website 4 December 2011 (North American time, a day later Oz time), in which I concluded:

It is my humble but considered opinion that since the 1970s, Adventists have well explored almost every biblical, historical, theological and sociological fact about the ordination of women. One of the finest of these explorations is reported in the volumeWomen in Ministry: Biblical and Historical Perspectives. Our church remains essentially at the same point as it was when Jennifer Knight and Gwen Wilkinson edited “Perspectives of Women in the Church: All We’re Meant to Be,” reporting the Namaroo Conference Centre discussion of 20 April 1986. Seventh-day Adventism has well maintained many aspects of its reformist stance, to do with slavery, health and education, for instance. One of its pressing duties is to fulfil the promise of its heritage and the implications of Scripture by the full inclusion of women in its life and witness–by ordination.

Arthur Patrick, 17 March 2012, updated 19 March 2012