Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

GC Policy Cliff Notes on Ordination

What qualifies a minister for ordination and who decides who gets ordained? Read excerpts from the General Conference Working Policy.

B 05 Organizational and Operational Principles of Seventh-day Adventist Church Structure

6. Different elements of organizational authority and responsibility are distributed among the various levels of denominational organization. For example, the decision as to who may/may not be a member of a local Seventh-day Adventist Church is entrusted to the members of the local church concerned; decisions as to the employment of local church pastors is entrusted to the local conference/mission; decisions regarding the ordination of ministers are entrusted to the union conference/mission; and the definition of denominational beliefs is entrusted to the General Conference in session. Thus each level of organization exercises a realm of final authority and responsibility that may have implications for other levels of organization. In a similar manner, each organization is dependent to some extent on the realm of authority exercised by other levels of organization. No church organization or entity assumes responsibility for the liabilities, debts, acts, or omissions of any other church organization simply because of its church affiliation.

L 50 Examination of Candidates for Ordination

1. Before any ordination is carried out, there shall be careful, unhurried, and prayerful examination of the candidates as to their fitness for the work of the ministry. The results of their labor as licentiates should be reviewed, and the examination should cover the great fundamental facts of the gospel. Before the church sets a man apart by ordination he should have given satisfactory evidence of:


  1. A call to the ministry as a lifework,
  2. A belief in and knowledge of the Scriptures,
  3. An acquaintance with and full acceptance of the vital truths we believe we are called to proclaim to the world,
  4. An experience in various kinds of ministerial responsibility,
  5. Entire consecration body, soul, and spirit,
  6. Spiritual stability,
  7. Social maturity,
  8. An aptness as a teacher of truth,
  9. An ability to lead souls from sin into holiness,
  10. Fruitage in souls won to Christ,
  11. A cooperative attitude and confidence in the organization and functioning of the church,
  12. A life of consistent exemplary Christian conduct,
  13. An exemplary family,
  14. Being a model steward in tithe and offerings,
  15. An understanding of and adherence to church principles as set forth in the Church Manual.


  1. The examination of candidates for ordination is conducted by ordained ministers. Ordained representatives of conferences/missions/fields/institutions/unions/divisions/General Conference, who are present, may be invited to assist in the examination. Where it is deemed advisable by the conference/mission/field executive committee, one or more laypersons may be selected to participate.

Navigating the Road to Women’s Ordination


San Antonio is the next stop on the road to ordination. To help those trying to navigate the discussions, understand the issues and prayerfully determine the best way forward, we’ve published a plethora of materials online.




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