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Attempts to Change Seminary Statement on Headship Rebutted


Yesterday the Adventist Review reported that the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University voted to reaffirm its statement on headship, denying the appeal to significantly change it made by a group of 25 theologians and pastors, spearheaded by Gerard Damsteegt, professor of Church History at the Adventist Seminary.

The Adventist Seminary at Andrews published its statement called On the Unique Headship of Christ in the Church,” refuting the “male headship” doctrine, on August 21.

Damsteegt, a staunch supporter of male headship as the biblical model for the home and the church, along with others wrote an “Open Appeal” published on October 8 asking Seminary administration and faculty to revisit certain controversial areas in the statement and make modifications or remove disputed sections so that the Seminary statement will receive widespread support in the church.”

The Seminary faculty met in a special meeting to discuss the request last Friday, October 10, and spent more than three hours talking about it, according to the Review.

After study and examination, the faculty voted unanimously to release this statement:

“We, the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, respectfully reaffirm our original statement on the ‘Unique Headship of Christ in the Church’ which was the result of prayerful and responsible study of Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy, and was voted by an overwhelming majority of the faculty in a duly called meeting.

The Adventist Church’s official seminary has made it clear where it stands on the theory of “male headship.” After today’s decision at the Annual Council to send the question of women’s ordination by division to the General Conference session delegates in summer 2015, we will have to wait to see what the world church thinks.

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