In a compromise action taken on Sunday, the North American Division voted to allow "commissioned ministers" to lead conferences and missions.
The Adventist Review reports:
The vote, division officials said, will “reinstate” the previous year’s change to the North American church’s working policy, stating: “Inasmuch as the conference/mission president stands at the head of the ministry in the conference/mission and is the chief elder, or overseer of all the churches, a conference/mission president should be an ordained/commissioned minister. . . . The question of the role of women in ministry, which was taken off the table for the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta is one which draws a variety of opinions. Daniel R. Jackson, president of the church in North America, said the topic was raised because a commitment was made at the 2009 NAD meeting, and, he said, 'a promise is to keep.'
Commissioned ministerial credentials have grown in number recently as some conferences have tried to find a way around the discriminatory General Conference policy that keeps women from ordination and thus the highest levels of church authority and leadership. While often given to women, some male pastors have refused ordination and substituted commissioning as a symbol of solidarity with their female colleagues.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2758