Throughout our history, Seventh-day Adventist church leaders and scholars have periodically devoted time to discussion and debate about ordination, in order to discern the divine will. Not until late 1968, however, was women’s ordination the subject of official study. In response to a request from church leaders in Europe, the GC Officers set up a small ad hoc committee of three scholars to explore whether there was warrant in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy for ordaining women.Their brief report was negative, but church leaders soon recognized the need for more substantial deliberations
In the past forty years, the role of women in the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been the subject of official study on four occasions: by study committees in 1973 and 1985, and commissions in 1988 and 1989; and another committee, in 1975, considered the worldwide responses to the report of the 1973 committee. None of these bodies addressed the theology of ordination per se. However, the four committees/commissions assigned scholars from a broad range of backgrounds to research and write papers on a range of relevant subjects, and their papers were the subject of deliberation and debate. The result was a substantial body of scholarship that casts light on multiple facets of the theology of ordination.
The proceedings of these study committees are made available in one location for the first time.