If Ellen White was ordained, why not ordain women to the gospel ministry?

Questions & Answers August 5, 2017

Q: How can we be so backward as a denomination as to not ordain women? How can you continue this division in the church when Ellen G. White herself was ordained? — Brenda, from the United States

A: Brenda, you might find it helpful to know that according to the Ellen G. White Estate, Ellen White “was never ordained by human hands.” During her unique prophetic ministry, since the church did not (and does not) have “prophet credentials,” they granted her the highest credentials available — that of an ordained minister (sometimes with the word “ordained” crossed out).

However, this does not mean she was ordained. There is no record of any ordination service for her, nor did she carry out the responsibilities of an ordained minister. For more on this topic, please see “Was Ellen White an Ordained Minister?” at: bit.ly/wasegwordained

Secondly, the decision to not ordain women to the gospel ministry is a collective decision that has been made by thousands of delegates from around the world at three General Conference Sessions — in 1990 (not to ordain women to the gospel ministry), in 1995 (not to allow a variance for the North American Division), and 2015 (not to allow a variance in any world division).

Just as a local conference or union president is bound to follow what has been voted in his constituency session, as General Conference president, I am bound to follow and support what has been voted (three times) by the world church in session.

This does not mean, however, that women are not important to gospel work! They are vitally important! And God calls everyone to be a part of His Great Gospel commission — to reach others for Him. This is what Total Member Involvement is all about — everyone, everywhere, doing something for Jesus! If you aren’t yet involved, I invite you to visit tmi.adventist.org to see how you can become involved today.