World Church Divisions Weigh In on Ordination

January 03, 2014 | ordination

Reports from the Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) at each of the 13 worldwide divisions are being submitted to the General Conference TOSC as requested. As important steps are taken in this world church discussion, the Gleaner is committed to keep Northwest members informed.

The divisions are forwarding reports that directly or indirectly address how they relate to a theology of ordination and whether or not that would allow for the inclusion of women. Current updates are posted at here at Select NW Roundtable on the main menu.

The North American Division (NAD) NewsPoints team recently talked with Dan Jackson, NAD president, and G. Alexander Bryant, NAD executive secretary, to discuss what the report from the NAD TOSC means:

NewsPoints: What was the selection process for this committee?

Bryant: As we looked to staff this committee, we sought for balance and different perspectives that will represent all viewpoints of the division, both pro and con. It was our desire and hope that this group would sincerely and prayerfully give deep study from the Bible on the subject of ordination.

NewsPoints: What is the result of the report prepared by the NAD TOSC?

Jackson: The committee presentation contained two parts. The first was a minority report that was against the ordination of women and the second was a majority report that favors the ordination of both men and women equally. Each side was given an allotment of time to present their findings to the NAD year-end meeting. The time allotment for each presentation was determined based upon the proportion of the vote of each proposal made to the committee. The findings of the committee can be viewed at

NewsPoints: So did the NAD executive committee vote to approve the ordination of women after the report was given?

Bryant: No. The NAD executive committee voted to accept the report and to affirm its findings. This report will then be sent on to the General Conference TOSC. We did not vote to start accepting the ordination of women. That would be moving ahead of the process that has been put in place by the General Conference. What we did was to inform the General Conference of where we stand as a division on this issue. We are prayerful that the World Church can come to a consensus on this issue, and we can then focus on continuing the mission of the North American Division.

NewsPoints: What is the next step in this process and what can the members of the North American Division expect to happen?

Jackson: The General Conference TOSC will receive the report prepared by the North American Division TOSC and will then examine it with all of the other division reports over the next six to eight months. A final report will be given to the General Conference and will be discussed at the 2014 General Conference Annual Council. At that time a decision will be made as to whether or not to move a motion to the 2015 General Conference Session. We are praying that the Holy Spirit will be upon this final meeting as this important issue is discussed and considered and as we move forward with the Mission of the Church.

The Gleaner encourages Northwest members to prayerfully support the efforts of this process to establish a clear understanding of biblical principles and a policy that will foster worldwide unity toward our common mission as a church.

Further information on this topic will be kept updated in the NW Roundtable section.