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Like most modern Christian denominations, Seventh-­‐day Adventists acknowledge the pastoral call through the rite of ordination. We have also adopted the three-­‐fold structure of ministry in the church— pastor, elder, and deacon—each initiated by a separate rite of laying-­‐on-­‐of-­‐hands and each referred to as ordination. The lack of unambiguous Scriptural data, however, has resulted in a decades-long intradenominational discussion on the meaning of and qualifications for ordination of pastors, elders, and deacons. It is indisputable, and Scripturally warranted, that Christian community needs its authoritative leaders in order to function and propagate its mission in the world, otherwise chaos would reign. The question before us is, however, what is the nature of Christian ministry and how much has our understanding of ministry in the Church been influenced by Christian tradition?


Paper prepared for the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


Retrieved December 15, 2015, from https://www.adventistarchives.org/january-2013-papers-presented