Australia: New scholarships for women called to pastoral ministry

September 19, 2022 | Australia | Tracey Bridcutt | Source: Adventist Records

Women who feel called to pastoral ministry are encouraged to apply for the South Pacific Division (SPD) Scholarship.

Administered by the SPD Department of Ministry, the SPD Women in Ministry Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to women who wish to enroll or are currently enrolled in ministerial/theological training at Adventist Division of Higher Education institutions. This fund is intended to confirm and encourage women throughout the division to complete a course of study that will prepare them for effective full-time service.

Currently, while over 55% of SPD members are women, only 7% of SPD pastors are women.

“If we truly believe that men and women were created in God’s image and that men and women reflect God’s image, however imperfectly, then the perspectives of men and women are needed to reflect God’s love and grace to the world. he needs to know that,” said SPD deputy ministerial secretary Dr. Edyta Jankiewicz.

The SPD is following in the footsteps of the Australian Conference Union (AUC) which last year introduced the AUC Women in Pastoral Ministry Scholarship.

“We are thrilled with the quality of applicants who participated in this first round and are pleased to be able to award five scholarships this year,” said Pastor Lyndelle Peterson, assistant ministerial secretary and principal and director of the Sabbath School at AUC.

“I have personally been encouraged to hear the stories of these women who are faithfully following the calling that God has placed on their lives, and I look forward to seeing how God will use them for ministry as they complete their education, degree and ministry. in our local churches. »

Senior church leaders have confirmed their commitment to seeing more women involved in pastoral ministry.

“God is calling men and women to ministry,” said SPD President Pastor Glenn Townend, “it is because of what God is doing that the church must respond and support women who hear 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 serve in ways that men cannot. »

New Zealand Pacific Conference President Rev. Eddie Tupai said the perspective and voice of women in ministry is key to communicating the fullness of God’s image and character.

“It’s another missing, dumb and devalued contribution that requires intentionality from a predominantly male leadership. Such a simple but significant change will be abundantly blessed for the church and community. »

AUC President Pastor Terry Johnson said pastoring is often associated with men because the pastors we traditionally see are men.

“We are shaped by what we see and experience,” he said. “When women are given the opportunity to become effective soul-winning shepherds with the unique purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the wonderful grace-based end-time message, they model that the spiritual gifts of shepherding, leadership, evangelism, teaching, administration (among others) are open to all because service equals service and God calls everyone to serve. »

According to Dr. According to Darius Jankiewicz, field/ministerial officer of the SPD, the insufficient involvement of women in the ministry prevents the fulfillment of God’s mission. “The spiritual gifts given to believers at the discretion of the Holy Spirit, regardless of gender, are the means to accomplish the great mission,” he said. “These spiritual gifts are the basis of the Protestant teaching on the priesthood of all believers – that all believers contribute to the realization of God’s mission in the world. »

More information about the SPD Scholarship Fund for Women in the Ministry and how to apply for a scholarship can be found here.

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