Adventist Women Clergy Tell their Stories
Dozens of female Adventist pastors were asked by the North-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists to share their story of how God called them into ministry. Their stories were recorded and are available HERE. This page also contains other testimonies of women in leadership and how they experienced the call of God. Let them share with you their call to ministry by clicking on the link above.
2015 G.C. Session Vote on Ordination
For the full statement (PDF) recommended for action at the 2015 General Conference Session--which will be voted on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 in San Antonio, TX. To see the full agenda, click HERE. The motion for action (Item K) reads: “After your prayerful study on ordination from the Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and the reports of the study commissions, and; after your careful consideration of what is best for the church and the fulfillment of its mission, is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No.”
GC TOSC Recommendations
In January 2014, after years of careful study, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists' Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) voted the following recommendations:
- To recommend ordination of both men and women: North American Division, Inter-European Division, Trans-European Division, South Pacific Division and Northern Asia-Pacific Division.
- To not recommend the ordination of women: Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Division, West-Central African Division.
- To accept whatever decision is made at the 2015 General Conference: Inter-American
- To not object to a decision to let certain areas of the world church to ordain women: Southern Asia Division.
For the TOSC papers presented and final report, visit the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics and Research.
NAD Biblical Research Committee Recommendations
The Report of North American Division (NAD) Study Committee, presented at the 2013 NAD Year End Meetings, affirmed "the conclusion that all people, men and women, may receive ordination as an affirmation of the call of God, and that the North American Division support the authorization of each division to consider, through prayer and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, its most appropriate approach to the ordination of women to gospel ministry."
Information about Women's Ordination
The Pacific Union has compiled an exhaustive list of documents, websites and other information useful in understanding the issue of ordination within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and the debate surrounding the ordination of women, which is available online by clicking HERE. These materials were developed in preparation for a special meeting held in August 2012, where delegates voted 79% to 21% to "approve ordinations to the gospel ministry without regard to gender."
A History of Ordination by Darius Jankiewicz
Dr. Darius Jankiewicz Associate, Professor of Historical Theology at the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University, presented his research on the history of ordination at a 2012 constituency meeting held by the Columbia Union at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, MD. To watch the full video of his presentation, click HERE (2 hr 36 min). Additional information from Jankiewicz is available on Memory Meaning & Faith, a blog covering Christian history in light of contemporary issues that is sponsored by the Seminary.
Ellen G. White
Ellen White received her first vision in 1844 and commenced a 70-year public ministry that helped to establish the Seventh-day Adventist church. Given ordination credentials twice in the 1880s, she was a woman ahead of her time in advocating for women to be educated, for Christians to be vegetarian and live a balanced lifestyle, and against the restrictions placed on women and families by high society. She was a prolific writer, lecturer, and advisor who Adventists believe embodied the prophetic gift described in the Bible. For a discussion regarding her ministerial/ordination credentials by the White Estate, click HERE.
The mission of the Association of Adventist Women is to foster the participation of women in varied leadership roles in Seventh-day Adventist organizations, congregations, and communities. AAW has been an advocate for women in the SDA church, strongly recommending changes to various church entities to enable women to use their gifts fully and work with equity within the structure. The Association of Adventist Women has launched a blog that it will be using to report from the G.C. Session. » AAW website
The Center for Women Clergy at Andrews University (Berrien Springs, MI) seeks to build support systems for women in ministry, foster spiritual and professional growth while at the SDA Theological Seminary, create community among Adventist women clergy, and gather resources to assist them in their ministry. » CWC website
The mission of the Women’s Ministries Department is to model Jesus Christ through meaningful relationships and effective ministries. We exist to encourage, equip, promote, and challenge Adventist women in their journey as disciples of Jesus Christ and members of His Church and to bring women's unique perspectives to the issues facing the Church. » NAD WM website
The Department of Women's Ministries exists to uphold, encourage, and challenge Adventist women in their pilgrimage as disciples of Jesus Christ and members of His world church. » GC WM website
At the time of her appointment, Pastor Chris commented that, “Having the opportunity to return to my alma mater and serve in a University community is a cherished life opportunity.” President of La Sierra University, Randall Wisbey shared that, “Her appointment is particularly appropriate, as La Sierra University and the University Church have a long and proud tradition of seeking justice, including justice in ministry, providing gender inclusiveness as a model for University students, both women and men, as well as each member of this congregation.”
Chris Oberg is a native of the Pacific Northwest, born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Walla Walla University with a degree in Nutrition, Chris, and her husband Kerby, moved to Loma Linda, California for Kerby to pursue his education with Loma Linda University School for Medicine and Graduate Schools. Chris spent several years working at Loma Linda University Medical Center and other hospitals, eventually specializing in Maternal and Infant Nutrition.
It was several years later, after the birth of daughters Amanda and Alisa, while working as a maternal and infant nutritionist, Pastor Chris sensed God’s calling to ministry. Enrolling in La Sierra University, Oberg earned a BA degree in religion in 2000, and a MA in Religious Studies in 2005. She also served on the pastoral staff of the LSU church during that time. After completing her MA, Oberg accepted the senior pastor position at the Calimesa Adventist church, a 1200-member congregation near Loma Linda, California. She received a Rising Star Award from the La Sierra University Alumni Association in 2007.
Chris Oberg is married to Kerby Oberg, who teaches pathology and anatomy at Loma Linda University. Their two daughters both attend La Sierra University. «less
“The Lord gave the word and great was the company of women who proclaimed it.” Psalms 68:11
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