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Seventh-day Adventist Church's Position on Women Elders & Deaconesses

The current General Conference policy on ordination of women as local church elders is stated in the 2009 Seventh-day Adventist Minister's Handbook, p. 94.

"Elders and deacons should be persons of experience, chosen wisely. By action of the Annual Council of 1975, reaffirmed at the 1984 Annual Council, both men and women are eligible to serve as elders and receive ordination to this position of service in the church."

The 2010 Edition of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church manual states:

"Ordination Service for Deaconesses - Such a service would be carried out by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference. The ordination servic should be characterized by simplicity and performed in the presence of the church.  If they retain church membership, deaconesses do not have to be ordained again if they move their memberships to other churches.  When the term for which they were elected expires, they must be reelected if they are to continue to serve as deaconesses." (pp 78-79)

"The nominating committee brings in nominations to fill the various church offices. When these have been elected, the elders should be ordained, unless they have already been ordained as elders.  A similar but shorter service should take place for ordination of deacons and deaconesses." (p 38)