During its 44th General Assembly, in Mobile, AL, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) “adopted a proposal from its Administrative Committee (AC) to establish a study committee on the issue of women serving in the ministry of the church.”
Since its inception in 1973, women in ministry has always been a debatable and controversial issue in the PCA. Among other things, the ordination of women is one of the reasons for the formation of the PCA.
Now, here we are, some 40 years later. The proposal the Assembly adopted includes the following provisions:
- The study committee should be made up of competent men and women representing the diversity of opinions within the PCA
- The committee should give particular attention to the issues of:
(1) The biblical basis, theology, history, nature, and authority of ordination;
(2) The biblical nature and function of the office of deacon;
(3) Clarification on the ordination or commissioning of deacons/deaconesses;
(4) Should the findings of the study committee warrant BCO changes, the study committee will propose such changes for the General Assembly to consider.
- The committee will have a budget of $15,000 that is funded by designated donations to the AC from churches and individuals.
- A Pastoral Letter to be proposed by the ad interim study committee and approved by the General Assembly be sent to all churches, encouraging them to (1) promote the practice of women in ministry, (2) appoint women to serve alongside elders and deacons in the pastoral work of the church, and (3) hire women on church staff in appropriate ministries.
As someone who is new to the PCA, I’m encouraged by all this. While I remain committed to a complementarian position regarding women in ministry, I’m certainly open to revisiting the issue.