26 April 2021 | At a regular meeting on April 25, the North German Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists voted to implement a 2012 vote by its executive committee to ordain both women and men as ministers.
At the time, the resolution to ordain both women and men was approved by more than a two-thirds majority of the delegates.
However, in a bid to preserve denominational unity after the 2015 General Conference Session vote not to allow world regions to decide for themselves on the issue of women’s ordination, the 2012 North German vote was not implemented in the region.
In June 2016 both the North German Union Conference and the South German Union Conference decided that both male and female pastors in the country would simply receive commissioning via a “blessing” in lieu of ordination while the world church worked through policy on ordination.
This year’s April 25 vote means both women and men in the North German Union Conference can be ordained effective immediately and ministers that received a “blessing” in the years since the 2012 vote will now receive ordination credentials.
The resolution to implement the 2012 vote passed with 24 YES- and 2 NO-votes with 4 abstentions.
The North German Union Conference was one of the unions that received a voted “warning” from the General Conference Executive Committee at the 2019 Annual Council due to its decision (effective at the time) to stop ordaining pastors of either gender.
According to the Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, the North German Union Conference had 326 churches and a membership of 18,937 on June 30, 2020.