A Statement from the Women Clergy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Editor’s Note: On October 3, 2018, a statement was published to the NAD Ministerial website from Seventh-day Adventist Women Clergy concerning the upcoming Annual Council 2018. That statement follows in its entirety:

In anticipation of the upcoming General Conference Annual Council, many women of the church, and many women who serve the church, are sensing themselves to be powerless, and disrespected as partners in the membership and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our presence and our voice are largely absent from this conversation, even though we note one of the proposed compliance subcommittees is clearly about us. As a group of approximately two hundred professional women clergy, we share the conviction that nothing ought to be about us, without us.

Additionally, we share a consensus of concern over proposals regarding governance that do not represent the heart of protestant faith, biblical fidelity or authentic Adventism; a document that advocates an overreach, if not abuse, of power that obviously misunderstands our unique governance system.

As professional clergy, we listen to, and pastor a North American Division membership concerned and troubled by this proposal. We appeal to our elected leaders (i.e. the following groups: General Conference Administrative Committee, General Conference and Division Officers, and the General Conference Executive Committee) for a careful assessment and even spiritual accountability of how this proposed compliance process represents best leadership practices for the Adventist Church. The proposed compliance committee process will take us far from our roots as a movement.

We remain in prayer for the Holy Spirit's guidance as we continue to uphold the mission of our church.


This statement originally appeared on the Ministerial website of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

Image courtesy of NAD Ministerial.

Further Reading:

Responses from Church Entities and Timeline of Key Events, Annual Council 2017 to Present

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9073

Only 232 words. Not even 2 for each woman represented.

I’d say that demonstrates the remarkable self-control that one would expect from SDA leadership,
and not one threatening remark poisons their statement.

Leadership by example. Amen !


brilliant, reserved, to the point, overwhelming in its logic and appeal. Hopefully more than half of the delegates will agree.


If more than half of those delegates were married, well the wives should know what to do and what not to do to get concessions.


Marriage doesn’t work by manipulation. Plus the votes are often by secret ballot.


Praising God for the wisdom, courage and leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Women Clergy.


The US was founded on the fundamental principle of representation. The rallying cry at that time was “No taxation without representation.” Over 200 years later, our church governors (they are not leaders) are taking the same approach as the British and not offering representation. This approach is patronising and disrespectful and is not aceptable in a democratic society. Nor should it be tolerated.


Well said; succinct and precise. God calls us ALL to spread the gospel. Woe unto those who block and dare to chastise the objects of His anointing.


So true in principle. But I hear otherwise during couples therapy.


This statement written for all of us (men and women) by women SDA clergy could set an example and provide a rationale for gender equality in our church. In a time where it is likely that Judge Kavanaugh will be voted into the US Supreme Court, despite all the reasons being clear as to why he should not be, we can stand on principle and do the right thing.

John Piper, said it best:
“This point is often missed by evangelical feminists. They conclude that a difference in function necessarily involves a difference in essence; i.e., if men are in authority over women, then women must be inferior. The relationship between Christ and the Father shows us that this reasoning is flawed. One can possess a different function and still be equal in essence and worth. Women are equal to men in essence and in being; there is no ontological distinction, and yet they have a different function or role in church and home. Such differences do not logically imply inequality or inferiority, just as Christ’s subjection to the Father does not imply His inferiority.”
― John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood


Well said, SDA Women Clergy! May your efforts for equal representation and support not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You have all done your jobs as well as any man could…and deserve to have what the men have always had (ordination) without struggle.


This was a great and powerful declaration. I only wonder if those black suited guys upstairs at the GC will even pay any attention to it or consider its importance before any voting is done. I personally doubt.


A brilliant statement that pointedly checks the male privilege and patriarchy in the room. It doesn’t matter if Wilson and his suits are listening. They most certainly tuned out a long time ago. A critical mass seems to be forming in the opposition to the “unity” document and compliance committees, and that’s all that matters. It is time to stand up and so “no” once and for all to this administration.


What really interests me is how a church that maintains it’s belief in the Bible only, maintains a system which divides believers into clergy and laity in the first place. Then consumes heaps of time arguing about whether only males can be ordained (another practice not found in the Bible). Many of the false sacrements, traditions and practices of the reviled Roman Catholic church and their offspring are quite happily included in the church that claims to be “the Remnant”.
If the Adventist church actually followed Biblical practice and made Jesus the centre and His mission the whole purpose of gathering together we might resemble a Spiritually driven missional movement rather than a fossilized, institutional church!
Paul would be appalled at the state of the church if he were to be resurrected now. Not too sure he would find much of the church he helped to plant in our current crop.


Well done and I hope it reaches some hearts. Our daughters and sons are watching <3


There are also a lot of SDA women that do not want women ordained.

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Well, if we are going to quote people I like how Ellen White says it,

“Christ’s position with His Father is one of equality. This enabled Him to become a sin-offering for transgressors.” (Manuscript 48, 1893)." SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY, VOL. 7 (EGW), PAGE 905

“The angels all wear the yoke of obedience…But Christ is equal with God, infinite and omnipotent… He is the eternal self-existing Son, on whom no yoke had come…”## SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY, VOL. 5 (EGW), PAGE 1136

"The Son of God came voluntarily to accomplish the work of atonement. There was no obligatory yoke upon Him, for He was independent and above all law. The angels, as God’s intelligent messengers, were under the yoke of obligation; no personal sacrifice of theirs could atone for the guilt of fallen man. Christ alone was free from the claims of the law to undertake the redemption of the sinful race. He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again. ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’[Philippians 2:6]”


This concept of Jesus being under obligated to or in subjection to the Father/less in authority is not a historic Adventist concept, just as the idea that only men should be pastors isn’t.

“It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God.” TESTIMONIES FOR THE CHURCH, VOL. 6, PAGE 322 EGW

I think many points are being missed by John Piper and the biggest is a distorted picture of what the God is like and projecting that into other relationships. Christ said to His Bride/Church “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21. As we can see the relationship between the Father and the Son is not focused on over/under hierarchy but an equal partnership.

The Bible didn’t say Jesus is equal to the Father “value” but must not be in function/throne/authority. They are equal and share the same authority in light of ( not despite ) God being as the head of Christ 1 Corinthians 11:3. So the relation between the Father and Jesus shows us that the concepts that Piper is promoting is flawed. Because regarding authority, "But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,’ Matthew 20:25-26.The husband’s authority granted to serve a woman not to be over her. God the Father serves the Son not excludes Him from the throne in a bid for to establish authority.

"The wife is to stand by the side of the husband as his equal, sharing all the responsibilities of life, rendering due respect to him who has selected her for his lifelong companion. ‘For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and He (referring to Christ) is the Saviour of the body,’ or church. [Ephesians 5:23.] " Ms 17, 1891

But if you don’t know what Christ is like you can’t model that properly in relating to others. We need to getting a better picture of who God is. Ordination aside, the whole picture of authority and image of God, the church seems to be promoting in general looks a lot more like the one promoted by Satan than Christ.

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O [d]Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the [e]lowest depths of the Pit.” [Isaiah 14:12-15]

God’s authority isn’t based on subjection/being above anyone, but service.

Testimonies Vol 6. Most of the material was composed by Ellen during her
exile in the “British Penal Colony” in Australia – 1890’s.

May the Doctrine of Jesus between 4 B.C to A.D 31 that SDAs have is not
Perhaps the Jesus before the resurrection was human [leaving his divinity
dormant], and as Human had to depend on the Father and the Holy Spirit
as any human since Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. And this is the dependency
that we see exhibited in the narrations of the Gospel Writers. The miles walked,
the hunger, the thirst, dependent on other humans for a place to sleep, to rest.
Any meeting of individuals directed by the Father and Spirit. The power to heal,
to feed, to walk on water, to calm the storm, raise the dead all done by the Father
through Jesus.
At the resurrection he became the Christ, human flesh transformed, and Divinity
restored. The human and divine in one person sitting on the right hand of the Father.


Do you have the reference for this?


We applaud the two hundred SDA women clergy who generated this statement.

They represent not only themselves,but ALL Adventist women, who constitute the largest demographic in our church.

In every church I visit, regardless of the continent, rural or urban, the preponderance of people in the pews are women!

These female pastors speak not just for themselves but for those women who cook and clean for Sabbath potluck, who run the Vacation Bible,Schools, who teach the Cradle Roll and other children’s divisions, who conduct the choir, play the piano/organ, type the weekly worship bulletin and generally keep the congregations running smoothly.

The heinous heretical headship dogma prefers to keep our women as cleanup crews for the Sabbath pot luck rather than preaching from the pulpit.

A very effective GLASS CEILING prevents women clergy from attaining higher office as conference or union conference presidents.

Their Protestant sister clergy women have enjoyed emancipated status for decades.

The Methodists have been ordaining their women pastors since 1956!
Many Methodist women clergy, are now conference presidents and bishops ( the equivalent of our union conference presidents.).

The head of the American Episcopal Church from 2006-2015 was Katherine Jefferts Schori.

Adventism’s lack of egalitarianism makes us look antiquated, obsolete, fossilized and positively medieval compared to more progressive porestant bodies.

While decrying the Catholics and the Papacy, we ape and emulate our Catholic friends by keeping our women as permanent second class “ nuns”
never to be equal with their priestly male counterparts!