North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Responds to Ordination Vote

The North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists acknowledges the vote that took place earlier today at the 60th General Conference Session, not allowing for regional accommodation of those world regions asking to allow for the ordination of women. After much prayerful study and discussion, the delegates voted 1381-977 to not pass the motion on the session floor.

The leadership of the NAD is saddened by this vote, but respects the decision of the world body in session and we are committed to continual cooperation and fellowship with the world church. While todays vote does not allow for each division of the church to ordain women to gospel ministry, we will continue to follow General Conference policy by commissioning women pastors, and ordaining women elders and deaconesses.

Many individuals in the NAD have weighed in on the conversation preceding this vote, and some of these conversations have become emotionally charged. NAD President Daniel Jackson shared his desire for the division after the vote. “We ask our members to focus their energies on the one thing we can agree with, the mission of the church. God has called all of us to serve Him in ministry, whether we are recognized by the church or not. The NAD recognizes that every person no matter his or her race, age or gender has a vital role to play in sharing the gospel message with the world. Let us be united as a family that is bound by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. While we may disagree on various approaches to ministry, let us all agree on the need to reach all people with the message of hope and wholeness, and a new life in Jesus. We will continue with our intention of placing as many women into pastoral ministry as possible. We affirm the important role they play in reaching all of God’s children. We ask that all members of the Adventist Church keep praying for God’s guidance as we move forward in mission.”

-The Communication Department of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Image credit: James Bokovoy / NAD

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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How does my church want me to explain to my two sons, daughter in-laws, and grand daughter this action by the world church? How does it want me to explain to the young women in my class this action?

There is no answer other than politics and the culture of some countries won out over the freedom God gives us. The decision may be wrapped in spiritual veneer, but the evidence is clear. And to think that our many of our young people were already questioning the relevancy of the church.

How rude for a few delegates to treat our former President as they did. What a witness?


To constantly refer to the mission of the church as “evangelism” of non-believers is to misquote and misunderstand the Great Commission in Matthew. We are not only to “baptize” but “teach” and make “disciples.” What happened in San Antonio limits our ability to “baptize,” “teach” and make “disciples.” The fellowship of the church is also part of the gospel commission and is what keeps people from leaving!!


unfortunately, this vote we saw yesterday is going to have repercussions that may not have been intended, not the least of which is whether donors in the global north will continue to send funds to evangelize the global south, knowing that these converts, and ultimately delegates, will certainly attend a general conference in order to impose their own will, regardless of the will of others…

a yes vote would have enabled the global south to continue gender apartheid as they pleased…but this wasn’t enough for them…


If this is “Christian Unity” what could be more antagonistic to unity than this decision?


Maybe, maybe not. By convincing members that God is in charge of the church and by convincing them that the mission of the church (as defined by them) trumps “lesser” moral issues, leaders of the church have enormous leeway to behave badly and still keep the money flowing.

Perhaps there will be a breaking point and enough members will decide that their money needs to be more carefully targeted. If history is any indicator though, that won’t happen. Members will continue to support the organization discriminating against them even though they wish for change. They believe it is more important morally to continue that financial support than it is for women to be treated equally.


For those disappointed with this anti-women vote
and other actions by this GC session,
an appropriate response would be to
target/allocate/designate one’s
church contributions, so that
one’s hard earned money will
not go to support those church entities.
divisions/union conferences/conferences
that do not meet basic, modern, ethical
standards, such as gender equality.

The bulk of Adventist adherants are women.
and thanks to our extensive world wide
schools of higher education,
many have attained
high earning professional positions
–a truly PARADOXICAL situation,
where the church is one of the more
upwardly mobile denominations,
both socially and educationally,
yet turns around and demeans
the very women on whom
it has spent funds to educate!

.Many donate far more than the required
ten per cent “tithe” and a slight shifting
of what is written on the contribution envelope
will certainly have huge impact.

Those third world members who voted no
are most dependant on trickle down funds
from the general conference,
and their exuberant applause
at the outcome of the vote,
showed a short sighted and distorted view,
not recognizing a possible,financial backlash.

As a fall out from this mis-guided vote,
I would suspect that there will be a large exodus of
millenials, and some professional women,
resulting in a curtailment of church income,
even if members do not re-allocate their funds.


i don’t see the situation of gender inequality in our church as something leadership is imposing on members, and which they are resorting to subterfuge to sustain…misogyny in our church is a reflection of misogyny in our membership, which in turn is a reflection of misogyny in the wider society…leadership is simply working with what membership is generating…

but there is an important silver lining in the awful cloud we witnessed yesterday, which is that long term trends, since the indianapolis vote in 1990, are encouraging…the san antonio vote of 59% to 41% essentially means a thin margin of 10% determined the outcome…all things considered, things are looking up for eventual gender equality in the church…while the slow pace of change is a sore trial for those who want to see gender equality now, particularly because we know the weight of scriptural evidence is on our side, i don’t think anyone realistically expected cultures built on thousands of years of misogyny to instantly loosen their grip…as in the world, real gains in understandings inside the church are a difficult, arduous process…presumably leaders understand this…no doubt thoughtful members do…

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You know, I am in a young adult female member in the NAD. And I resent the fact that many in this division believe that they speak for me and thousands who aren’t for WO. The NAD is not united first all!! If there is no unison at home, start at home don’t just blame the rest of the world. I am personally very happy because I love this church and I want to see it continue. At the same time, my faith is based on the Word of God and not on the NAD. That is why whatever the leadership does with its rebellion, I can only pray that God will take care of them.


“While todays vote does not allow for each division of the church to ordain women to gospel ministry, we will continue to follow General Conference policy by commissioning women pastors, and ordaining women elders and deaconesses.”

It appears the NAD is getting the message. Let’s see if and how they act on it.

It might help to remind them that God is still in control, and is in the habit of overruling events for good, according to His will. If this decision was not His will, He will correct it in time; if it was His will, then who are we to fight against Him? (with apologies to Gamaliel)

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God has already shown in China and elsewhere that this decision was not his will.


A very cynical response, exhibiting a gross misunderstanding of one’s responsibility in the use of money. It isn’t our money; it’s God’s. Diverting it because one doesn’t like a particular decision reelects a rather self-centered attitude.


That’s merely your opinion, unless you’ve had direct communicator from on High. Please enlighten us if that’s the case. It should have been forwarded to San Antonio before the vote.


The obvious blessing of the chinese female pastors is not my opinion but a fact.


Do you think it is ok to give money to people who are spending it very irresponsibly? God gave us brains…


That’s assuming mean-spirited ulterior motives to future converts; an unfair assessment for sure.

This is one northerner who will keep sending funds to the mission field, whether it be in the southern hemisphere or elsewhere. It’s the Lord’s money and I trust that He will order things in such a way as to further the spread of the gospel as rapidly as possible. And I would still do so, even if the vote had gone the other way. It’s for sure that we don’t need it as much in North America, where we are “rich and increased with goods.”


Therein lies the key problem with this decision. It abates the traditionalists for now, but in the long term with a church that prides itself on academia and free thought, it’s a severe blow to future growth.


Adventism is noted for making nonsensical bias into doctrine. To accept IJ without barely a whimper and close the purse in is disgust over a procedural issue.
the Church lost its integrity back in 1980. Tom Z


Jesus commended the widow (maybe she didn’t have a brain?) who put in her two mites, which only enriched the corrupt priesthood. I can’t believe our leaders are as corrupt as the ones at the time of Christ. I don’t think they are plotting anyone’s death.