SILVER SPRING - At approximately 5:37 local time, Annual Conference delegates voted to approve language crafted by The General Conference and Division Officers (GCDO), that will now go to delegates at the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas. The language from GCDO came in the form of a question, posted below.
Delegates will be asked,
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 commitees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No
The discussion of ordination, and specifically the issue of whether or not women might be ordained as pastors, spanned two business sessions, the first from 9:00 am until approximately noon, the second from 2:00 pm until just after the final vote.
Before delegates voted, they heard three summary presentations that represented the three positions that emerged from the Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC). Biblical Research Institute scholar Clinton Wahlen presented Position 1, which favored denying ordination to women pastors in elders, and supported male headship. Walla Walla University professor Carl Cosaert presented Position 2, which would allow those church fields that support ordination to proceed. Andrews University professor Nicholas Miller presented Position 3, which sought to marry the male headship language of Position 1 with the variability in practice of Position 2.
When the floor opened for discussion, countless delegates spoke to the motion both in favor and against. The final vote was 243 in favor, 44 opposed, and 3 in abstention.