9 December 2021  |

The following is a statement from the South German Union:

In its regular meeting on December 6, the Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southern Germany (South German Union/SDV) voted to allow the equal ordination of men and women in pastoral ministry.

In doing so, the Church has made ordination practice uniform throughout Germany. The North German Union had already decided on equal ordination on April 25, 2021.

The Resolution was adopted at the request of conferences within the union to ordain female pastors, while respecting the jurisdiction of the individual conferences.

It was furthermore decided to instruct the administration of the SDV to request that the Adventist world church leadership revisit the issue regarding the ordination of female pastors. Most recently this issue was debated at the 2015 Adventist General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas. The majority of delegates from all over the world voted against allowing divisions to independently decide this question for their region.

“In deciding in favor of the equal ordination of women and men to pastoral ministry, we had to weigh two competing values: on the one hand, conformity with the decision of the General Conference Session of 2015, and on the other hand, the right to equal treatment as set out in our Fundamental Belief 14 (Unity in the Body of Christ),” said Werner Dullinger, president of the South German Union.

He emphasized that the discussion on the matter was controversial, but took place in a good and trusting atmosphere. The resolution was passed with a clear majority.

The German Association of the Seventh-day Adventist Church consists of the regional church office in Northern Germany (North German Union/NDV) with headquarters in Hanover, and in Southern Germany (South German Union/SDV) with headquarters in Ostfildern near Stuttgart. The SDV, with 15,561 members and 222 congregations and groups, includes the regional Adventist conferences in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland (Central Rhenish Conference), Baden-Württemberg, and Bavaria.

Worldwide, there are nearly 22 million Adventists in over 169,000 congregations and groups (Annual Statistical Report 2020).

This translation was provided by German pastor Tye Davis. The original press release in German can be read here.

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