Silver Spring, Maryland, USA | Jonathan Gallagher / ANN

The leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America issued a statement April 14 that “clarifies [their] ordination position.”

In a statement released by Alfred C. McClure, president of the Adventist Church’s North American Division based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, “the officers of the Division wish to make clear the position of the Church in North America has not changed from that which was printed in the Adventist Review following the vote of the General Conference session. At that time it was stated that the Church in North America would not break ranks with the decision of the world Church with regard to the ordination of women.”

“We continue to stand by that position,” explained McClure.

The statement refers to the vote of the Southeastern California Conference to issue the same ministerial credentials to both men and women pastors (refer March 28 ANN Bulletin) which brought a comment of “regret” from the world president of the Adventist Church (April 4 ANN Bulletin).

“While we are supportive of efforts to end discrimination,” stated McClure, “the policy of the North American Division and General Conference is that a minister is ordained to service in the world Church and carries a credential reflecting that privilege. A minister who has not been ordained is issued credentials that are more limited in scope. The Church has not recognized an ‘ordained-commissioned’ ministerial credential such as that voted in Southeastern California and the Division officers urge that no attempts be made to blur the line between ordination and commissioning.”