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Columbia Union Conference Creates Interactive Women’s Ordination Timeline


Visitor Magazine, the official publication of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, has released an expansive timeline of key events in the history of women’s ordination within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Along with a written list of events, Visitor created an interactive timeline entitled “The Road to Ordination” with photos and clickable events that expand to reveal more data.

The timeline begins with the 1880’s when “A number of women served as pastors in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Between 1872 and 1945, at least 16 women carried ministerial licenses.” From the days of the Pioneers, the timeline follows the story of women in pastoral ministry up to the 2014 Annual Council vote to send the question of whether divisions should be permitted to ordain women to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio Texas.

The Columbia Union has unapologetically advocated for women’s ordination within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, becoming the first Seventh-day Adventist Union in North America to vote to allow ordination “without regard to gender”. That historic vote came on July 29, 2012. The Pacific Union Conference voted less than a month later to also do away with gender distinction as a criterion for ordination. In September, the Pacific Union Conference approved fourteen women candidates for ordination. However, it was the North German Union Conference that became the first union in the Adventist denomination to vote to ordain women. They voted in April 2012 to move ahead with gender equality.

The Road To Ordination” includes several of those key milestones as the Adventist Church has inched closer to ordaining women denomination-wide.

Jared Wright is Spectrum’s managing editor.

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