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11-5-13 Defining the Theology of Ordination Study Committee Report

An interview with NAD administration regarding this important issue

Dan Jackson and G. Alexander Bryant during prayer at the 2013 NAD Year-end Meeting {Photo by Dan Weber, NAD Communication]
On November 4, 2013, the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists reviewed and voted to accept the report of the Division’s Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC). The report was requested by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at its 2011 Annual Council meeting. Each Division of the World Church was then asked to form its own TOSC and to present those findings at each of their own annual meetings at the end of 2013. These reports are to be given to the General Conference TOSC and they will be combined into a report that will be given to the General Conference Executive Officers for their review.
A final recommendation will then be presented to the General Conference Executive Committee where a decision will be made as to whether or not to move forward with a motion to the 2015 General Conference Session.
NewsPoints sat down with NAD President Dan Jackson and NAD Executive Secretary G. Alexander Bryant to discuss the recent vote of the North American Division and what the report from the NAD TOSC means:
NewsPoints: Why was the NAD TOSC formed and what was the selection process for its members?
DJ:  The TOSC was formed at the request of the General Conference as they looked at the issue of ordination and its global impact on the World Church. The decision was made to ask each world Division to form its own TOSC to research the issue and to then prepare a report that would be presented to the General Conference. Originally, the committees were asked to look at the issue of ordination in general, but later it was decided to ask each committee to also include in their research a study on the theology of the ordination of women. A General Conference TOSC was formed and it will be looking at all of the world Divisions' reports and will then prepare a report to give to the General Conference officers for consideration. 
AB:  As we looked to staff this committee, we sought for balance and different perspectives that will represent all viewpoints of the Division, both pro and con. It was our desire and hope that this group would sincerely and prayerfully give deep study from the Bible on the subject of ordination.
NP:  What was the role of the NAD administration in this process?
DJ:  Once the TOSC was formed, we took a hands-off approach as it completed its work, having full confidence in the committee and that the Holy Spirit would lead them as they considered this issue.
NP:  What is the result of the report prepared by the NAD TOSC?
DJ:  The committee presentation contained two parts. The first was a minority report that was against the ordination of women and the second was a majority report that favors the ordination of both men and women equally. Each side was given an allotment of time to present their findings to the NAD Year-end Meeting. The time allotment for each presentation was determined based upon the proportion of the vote of each proposal made to the committee. The findings of the committee can be viewed at www.nadordination.com.

NP:  So did the NAD Executive Committee vote to approve the ordination of women after the report was given?
GAB:  No. The NAD Executive Committee voted to accept the report and to affirm its findings. This report will then be sent on to the GC TOSC.
We did not vote to start accepting the ordination of women. That would be moving ahead of the process that has been put in place by the General Conference. What we did was to inform the General Conference of where we stand as a Division on this issue. We are prayerful that the World Church can come to a consensus on this issue and we can then focus on continuing the mission of the North American Division.
NP:  What is the next step in this process and what can the members of the North American Division expect to happen?
DJ:  The General Conference TOSC will receive the report prepared by the North American Division TOSC and will then examine it with all of the other Division reports over the next six to eight months. A final report will be given to the General Conference and will be discussed at the 2014 General Conference Annual Council. At that time a decision will be made as to whether or not to move a motion to the 2015 General Conference Session.
We are praying that the Holy Spirit will be upon this final meeting as this important issue is discussed and considered, and as we move forward with the Mission of the Church.
NP:  Thank you to both of you for taking the time to clarify this issue for the membership in the North American Division.
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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