The act by which the church sets apart an individual for a special function in the church by prayer and the laying on of hands. Three categories of church workers are ordained—ministers, church elders, and deacons ( see Church Elder ; Deacon ; Minister ). Ministers. Candidates for ordination must be male and church members who not only live consistent Christian lives but also are experienced in church work and have demonstrated confidence in the leadership of the church. Women also serve as ministers, but without ordination. At the 1990 session the General Conference stated that “we do not approve ordination of women to the gospel ministry,” but did allow women to continue serving as pastors according to division policy. The North American Division reserves three functions for the or...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.