The North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists is ramping up its recruitment drive for women pastors. They are pushing forward a comprehensive and strategic plan to recruit, train and ultimately finance the salaries of women into ministerial roles. 
The NAD is also organizing spiritual retreats for women with the purpose of “affirming” their call to the pastoral ministry.  Below is the NAD’s event flyer for the “2018 Look Up Women Clergy Conference.”
This is much more than just training and hiring women into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Problems arise when local conferences begin “ordaining” them as pastors, an act that goes against the current policies of the world church. Instead of addressing these simulated ordinations, the North American Division is turning a blind eye, allowing them to continue and even paying their salaries once they become employed. 
In contrast, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists refuses to recognize the validity of these “ordinations.”  Their position is that these ordinations are null and void. For the past three years the GC has been working on trying to bring the church into unity on this issue; only to see their efforts undermined by the NAD.
The problem we’ve been seeing is that the different organizational levels of the church, such as the NAD, think that they are an exclusive society unto themselves. This is how many church entities have been operating. They have been breaking away and ordaining women on their own authority, and not taking into account the rest of the body of Christ or the clear teachings of inspiration. Some divisions, unions and conferences want to remain autonomous so that they can continue ordaining women without any accountability.
This has resulted in the recommendations by the General Conference to create “review committees” to address these unauthorized ordination services. What is yet to be determined is whether or not these proposed “review committees” will recommend disciplinary action or even automatic suspension for both the person attempting the ordination and the woman being ordained.
During the 2018 Annual Council coming up this next week, the General Conference Executive Committee will be debating these very issues. The arguments will be over church offices, church governing, rouge entities, church compliance and how the Seventh-day Adventist organization will be led and directed.
Why Not Women Priests?
In theology, we base our beliefs on the revealed word of God, Divine Revelation; and not upon human reasoning, philosophy or cultural expectations. We do not have the authority to invent the priesthood or its modern day equivalent – the pastoral ministry – according to our feelings or according to our own customs.
People can sincerely believe or imagine that women can be called into the priesthood, but a mere belief doesn’t indicate a Biblical existence for such a vocation. This debate is ripping the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America apart as the ordination crisis over women pastors continues.
- The Bible is clear when it states that the ancient Patriarchs (men) were the spiritual leaders of their households (Genesis 18:17-19).
- The Bible is clear when it states that God instructed that men be chosen to serve as priests in the Old Testament sanctuary (Exodus 29:9).
- The Bible is clear when it states that Jesus chose 12 men as His apostles when He founded the Christian church (Mark 3:14).
- The Bible is clear when the apostles chose men as their collaborators to succeed them in apostolic ministry (Acts 1:21, 22, 26).
- The founders of the Adventist movement were clear when they laid down the role of women from a Biblical perspective: “A woman may pray, prophesy, exhort and comfort the church, but she cannot occupy the position of a pastor or a ruling elder.” 
These Biblical facts mentioned above are definitive, sufficient, and authoritative. This by no means shows that women hold an inferior place in God’s church. A woman’s place and value is equal in God’s eyes, but their role is different. Yet some Seventh-day Adventists are still asking, “Why not ordain women?” Well, there is an answer to this question even when the above facts are not enough.
The Bible tells us that the “Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). Jesus was the Word, the complete message that God wanted to communicate to mankind. And when Jesus took human form and became flesh, He did not come to this world with some sexless, gender neutral humanity. He became a man, a male, to serve as our Savior and High Priest. And since the office of the “priest” (or apostle) is supposed to serve as a type and representative of Christ, manhood or maleness is essential to that role. This fact is consistent to the continuing calling of men into “pastoral” roles throughout all of Scripture.
But the real questioning of “why” that we hear in the church today is only the echoing of the same “why” that we hear in today’s culture. Today our world is eliminating the traditional roles between men and women. Today in our culture we see a push to reject every and any distinction between the sexes. This is the liberal, secular agenda that is coming into the church today. This agenda is not about equality; it’s about destroying the order and roles that God has established in His word.
“Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband’s side in her Eden home; but, like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A similar result will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God’s plan. In their efforts to reach positions for which He has not fitted them, many are leaving vacant the place where they might be a blessing. In their desire for a higher sphere, many have sacrificed true womanly dignity and nobility of character, and have left undone the very work that Heaven appointed them” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 59).