09/19/2022 | Australia | Tracey Bridcutt | Source: Adventist Records
Women who feel called to serve in pastoral ministry are encouraged to apply for a South Pacific Division (SPD) scholarship.
The SPD Ministry Administered Scholarship Fund for Women in the Ministry provides financial assistance to women who wish to enroll or are currently enrolled in spiritual/theological training in the department’s Adventist colleges. This fund is designed to validate and encourage women throughout the department to pursue a degree that will equip them for effective full-time ministry.
While currently more than 55% of SPD members are women, only 7% of SPD pastors are women.
“If we truly believe that men and women were created in the image of God, and that men and women reflect the image of God, albeit imperfectly, then the perspectives of men and women are required to reflect God’s love and grace in a world that does must know him,” said SPD Assistant Ministerial Secretary Dr. Edyta Jankiewicz.
The SPD is thus following in the footsteps of the Australian Conference Union (AUC), which last year introduced a scholarship for AUC women in pastoral ministry.
“We are thrilled with the quality of applicants who have participated in this first round and we are pleased to award five scholarships this year,” said Rev. Lyndelle Peterson, Assistant Secretary of State and Sabbath School Principal and Stewardship at AUC.
“I have been personally encouraged to hear the stories of these women who are faithful to the calling that God has placed in their lives, and I look forward to seeing how God will use them in ministry as they complete their education, graduate and serve in our local churches. »
High-level church leaders reaffirmed their commitment to include more women in pastoral ministry.
“God is calling men and women to serve,” said SPD leader Pastor Glenn Townend, “Because of what God is doing, the church needs to respond and support women who are hearing God’s call. Women have unique pastoral gifts, and since more than half of SPD members are women, it is important to have other women in pastoral leadership to support them. They can minister in ways that men cannot. »
New Zealand Pacific Conference Union President Rev. Eddie Tupai said the perspective and voice of women in ministry is key to conveying the fullness of God’s image and character.
“It’s another missing, mute and devalued contribution that demands intentionality from a predominantly male leadership. The church and community will be richly blessed by such a simple but significant change. »
AUC chair Pastor Terry Johnson said that the pastorate is often associated with men because the pastors we’ve traditionally seen are men.
“We are shaped by what we see and experience,” he said. “When women are given the opportunity to be effective soul-winning pastors, with the unique purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the wonderful, grace-based, end-times message, they model the spiritual gifts of shepherding, leadership, and evangelism, teaching, Administration (among other things) is open to all because service is service and God calls all to serve. »
according to dr Darius Jankiewicz, SPD Field Service/Ministerial Secretary, the lack of inclusion of women in ministry hinders the fulfillment of God’s commission. “The means to accomplish the great commission are the spiritual gifts given to believers at the discretion of the Holy Spirit, regardless of gender,” he said. “These spiritual gifts are the basis of the Protestant teaching about the priesthood of all believers—that all believers contribute to the fulfillment of God’s mission in the world. »
Further information on the SPD scholarship fund for women in the ministry and on applying for a scholarship can be found here.
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