Nine Seminary Professors Request Commissioned Credentials

In response to the July vote of the General Conference session, denying divisions the right to decide whether or not to ordain women to the pastoral ministry, nine professors at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University have requested to have their ordination credentials replaced with commissioned ministers’ credentials, the same credential given to women, according to Jiri Moskala, dean of the Seminary.

He said that individually, each professor wrote to G.T. Ng, the secretary of the General Conference making this request. Andrews University is a General Conference Institution, so the credentials for its employees are handled by the General Conference. Current credentials expire at the end of December 2015, and the professors have requested that the credentialing committee issue them the commissioned credentials at that time.

The reasons given in their letters are varied and reflect the many facets of this long and protracted discussion in the Church, Moskala noted. Some professors object to ordination being perceived as a step within a hierarchical church structure based on male headship, calling headship a false doctrine that undermines collegial and community decision-making processes in the church.

While the professors have informed the Dean of their actions, he is not identifying their names. He says the professors perceive the current practice of ordination as a form of sacramental empowerment that requires male gender, rather than the blessing for gender-inclusive spiritual gifting that Adventism has always taught.

Some note that biblical texts used to oppose women’s ordination were never used by Ellen White to restrict women serving in ministry. Others point out that ordination is a church policy, not a fundamental belief of the Church, as it seems to have become. For them, this request is a matter of conscience and integrity and arises out of a deep sense of injustice and unfairness done to women colleagues who also serve in ministry.

Bonnie Dwyer is Editor of Spectrum Magazine.

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7128
6 Likes

I applaud these seminary professors who are taking this stand and they are to be counted as among the “righteous”. Amen.

23 Likes

Thank you to the nine professors who are following their conscience. This action is truly a result, in my humble opinion, to the Holy Spirit guiding them to serve in a capacity in keeping with scripture.

18 Likes

I love it!

These are “grave consequences” indeed. Congratulations to these outstanding “trailblazer” professors.

Glad to know that the Seminary not only teaches theology but also anatomy, especially the art of having a viable “spine” and how to stand straight and tall with confidence.

21 Likes

A worthy attempt to highlight the root of our problem: our traditional view and practice of ordination that has no biblical basis and incorporates a Catholic view of sacramentalness that we as a Church work at not being part of. It has truly produced a tier level condition in our governance that has diminished collegiality and open, humble conversation in making the efforts of sharing the gospel more effective.

17 Likes

I also applaud the nine professors who have written asking to be treated just like the church has decided to treat women in ministry. I particularly appreciate that each took his stand by himself, speaking for himself and giving his own rationale for the request. On the other hand, they acted together, making it very difficult for the powers that be to retaliate without creating a scandal of their own making.
These professors need to be applauded in public. It is a pleasure to know that the Seminary counts with such individuals.

I would suggest that when their credentials are issued at the end of the year, Spectrum publishes a report of the way in which their requests were handled.

23 Likes

Nine more souls join the “Righteous Among the Divisions”!

13 Likes

I hope this is the beginning of the "domino effect."
Bravo to those professors! They are certainly working toward the restoration of some normalcy within this convoluted environment that the the GC is creating by pursuing the continuation of discrimination of women in our Church.

To Dr. Jiří Moskala I would say,
“Bratr Moskala, prosim Vás, pomoci všem vaši učitelé aby se tento krok dali, aby ženy v naší církvi mohli být řádně přijaty jako lidské bytosti. Nápověda k zastavení diskriminace žen.
Moc dekuju,
Jiří Tichy.”

– == – = – == – =

Elaine @ageis711Oxyain, I hope this article will soon land at the Lounge, for proper further discussion…
– == – = – == – =

@ageis711Oxyain :
The only “grave consequences” I can see happening now is the GC ending up with thousands of pastors that are commissioned, as they “demote” themselves voluntarily. Therefore, those who will remain “ordained” will be automatically identified as “backboneless.”

I bet they will also have less job opportunities. After all, who wants now a pastor that is “ordained?” Not in this new scenario!!! The first question on the application form should be,

Are you a BB or a BBL person?
____ BB (BackBone) - continue filling out the form
____ BBL (BackBoneLess) - you can go home now, don’t bother about the rest of this form…

Actually, the selection process has just become easier and faster…
– == – = – == – =

@odorcic
This action by the AU Professors had a “grave consequence” to all my (famous) parakeets! They ALL asked to be demoted from “ordained” to “commissioned.” They didn’t want people to think, not for a single second, that they are backboneless parakeets.
I already issued the new credentials… so they are all happy now! … :wink:
– == – = – == – =

@phil wrote:
“I pray that Ted Wilson begins to understand the part he has played in this drama.”

It seems that he is fully convinced that he needs to play a “part” in the drama, but it is obvious that he has absolutely no clue about what part he has played in it so far. Apparently he really believes that he has a certain position in the Universe, a position that unfortunately (for him) has already been taken by the man in the Vatican…

I only wonder if some day he will take any responsibility for the “grave consequences” of his intransigency and dictatorship. Left alone the “politiking” and maneuvering of the denomination.

How many “commissioned” pastors/professors do we need for TW to wake up?
How bad/divided does the Church need to become for the bright delegates to understand that they need to vote him out in 2020? Will they? Hmmmm, their vision doesn’t seem to be “20/20”…
– == – = – == – =

OK, this article has now been posted in the Lounge. So, for further discussion, see you all there!!! :smile:
– == – = – == – =

Historic,
What is "hiding in anonymity?"
Is it when people don’t reveal their name and falsify their identity using someone else’s picture?
Hmmmm, this is ironic, isn’t it??? :wink:

14 Likes

I do my sultan 9 bows from head to toes before to these nine magnificent braves. Nine key nuggets brilliant of wisdom doing real humane things exemplary models selfless service to others. They speak softly carrying Jesus big sticks we not getting lost in God’s familiar humbling places.

15 Likes

So far, there are also nine who unanimously agree with these professor’s actions. Look for more dominoes to fall as the game has just started.

These are NOT the “grave consequences” predicted by the president, but now he has to face them. What action can possibly be assumed by the leaders on these very personal and singular decisions?

George, see, you can post here once and if someone comments are challenges you, there is a provision to answer. :wink:

10 Likes

“Men who will stand as true as the needle to the pole…” How thrilling to know that there are such saints among the Seminary professors.

I’m now beginning to believe (hope?) that a domino effect has started. Some may again call it rebellion. I consider it courageous, instead, because it does not seek to “rebel” against a decision of the GC. It totally complies with the GC decision. Simply, these courageous professors are choosing an option the GC has officially accepted.

There is a difference between rebellion and protest. I think this is protest. And why shouldn’t any Christian protest something they believe is not right? Haven’t we been taught to be “thinkers and not mere reflectors”? Thinkers will protest when they think something is not right. Reflectors will “comply” with the “official” decision of an organization.

I applaud the Seminary dean, as well, for supporting these professors.

19 Likes

George this issue is more than WO, It is an direct challenge to imperial power. the idea is that ordination can lead directly to the top Dog and power. It is in no way a recognition of a “calling”! or even an acknowledgement of competence. so now we have nine very competent males making a bold statement. amen brothers. tom Z

13 Likes

While I applaud the actions of these men, the impact on the church will be negligible, and of moral value only. There are a few positions that they are excluded from, which they probably were not in line to be appointed to, anyway.

If as a result of these actions many others decide to follow suit, then the church may need to revisit the issue to ensure that there is a pool of talent available for duties reserved for the ordained. But if the church doesn’t see a need to revisit the issue, then the top positions will progressively be reserved for those who are not supportive of women’s ordination, resulting in an inwards spiral to a homogenous church, which would be considered as a downwards or upwards spiral, depending on ones point of view.

2 Likes

there is no other name to this than rebellion. These are Dathans and Abhirams fighting against God. Kings could not be priests (see Uzziah); the other 11 tribes other than Levi could not be priests. It was not discrimination, but obeying God’s command.
Unfortunatelly, these people lost the track.

3 Likes

Being professors at our University that teaches Young Men and Young Women what it is to be Called of God, and HOW to respond to that Call as a Pastor, perhaps their Witness will challenge and allow these persons to evaluate WHY they took the Call seriously and what they intend, plan to do with the Call.
Are they answering the Call for Servant-hood, or answering because of what the Call PROVIDES?
Job security?, Job perks?, Job advancement to an “office”?, to a Presidency somewhere?
Being something of Role Models to Pastors-in-Training, they can speak by example regarding our Seventh day Adventist Traditions, and are our traditions in need of discarding, and beginning new ones?

Being Professors at the University they can Witness their Expertise in the Scriptures. Perhaps encourage Union Leaders around the world to embrace just "Pastor’, “Intern” as a Label for their status before God.
Forego accepting Ancient Catholic Traditions.

If they REALLY wanted to Protest, they could ask to just be labeled on their Renewed Renewal cards, “Pastor _______”. And leave off BOTH Ordained, Commissioned.

Someone has said this event will make no impression on the present church. This is probably a true statement.
But the Church of the Future is attending Andrews right now. There is a Class of 2016 coming up who will be exposing their churches with another View regarding Ordination/Commissioning. And behind them 2017, and 2018. THEY will be speaking to the Grass Roots of the Church.
The Church of 2015 is about over. The Church of 2016 is on its way! So one better watch out, better NOT pout!

7 Likes

I’m now looking forward to see some incumbent union and conference presidents requesting commissioned credentials for them also. - Or am I just expecting too much?

18 Likes

This is heartening to see and highlights exactly the problem of denying the ordination of women. I am still wearing black to church every Sabbath in solidarity with the need for the church to stop denying women’s ordination. I have vowed to keep doing so until one of two things happens: 1) a woman pastor is ordained in the North American Division (post GC 2015), or 2) the North American Division chooses to abolish ordination and simply commissions all pastors, women and men equally.

We must keep this before the church and I heartily, in fact, overwhelmingly, with great enthusiasm, applaud these seminary professors. May we all continue the good fight!

18 Likes

This reminded of Greg Boyd’s definition of agape love, which I think applies to these nine professors: “Ascribing worth to others at cost to yourself”

20 Likes

The Protestant Reformation within the Seventh-day Adventist Church continues. The nine Seminary professors have taken hammer and nail and affixed their theses to the front door of the General Conference building in Silver Spring. I pray that Ted Wilson begins to understand the part he has played in this drama. I pray that he begins to understand how the past connects to the present and how history repeats itself. I pray that he rids himself of the delusion that he acts “in [Christ’s] stead with His authority.” The simple request of the nine Seminary professors is that they not be debased by what is at present a medieval and gender-biased credential of ordination. The simple request of the nine Seminary professors is that they not receive a mark of the Beast. President Wilson should honor that request.

23 Likes

This is great. It is my view we need a post-modern Adventist Reformation. It’s going to take gumption and guts to do it. Congrats professors. However, give your names

11 Likes