North American Division (NAD) leaders voted October 31 to reaffirm the division’s unique policy allowing ordained or commissioned ministers to serve as presidents of local conferences and missions. This action was taken three weeks after the NAD’s request for a world church policy variance was turned down during Annual Council meetings in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The recent action (approved by nearly a two-thirds majority) broadens opportunities for non-ordained leaders, including women, to be elected to top positions in any of the division’s 58 conferences. This places the division at variance with the constitutional template throughout the world church which states that conference leadership can only be held by an ordained pastor.

NAD committee members also approved full participation in the world church’s recently launched study of the theology of ordination. Read more from the Adventist News Network HERE.