After lively debate at its Thursday afternoon session, the 44th General Assembly of the 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. Approval came after the Assembly defeated a substitute motion that asked the Assembly to deny the proposal.

The substitute came from the Committee of General Assembly Commissioners tasked to review AC proposals. The Committee of Commissioners argued that the issue had already been thoroughly studied and that the proposal should have come to the Assembly by different means. They also objected to some of the areas the proposal calls on the Committee to study.

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.

The Committee will be appointed by Moderator George Robertson. Under the Rules of Assembly Operation, it may have no more than seven members.

5 Responses to General Assembly Approves Study Committee on Women in Ministry

  1. Wendy Alsup says:

    This is good. I’m glad the issue of women and deaconesses is being discussed.

  2. Carey Hammett says:

    My (confident) hope and prayer is that the study committee will engage in a serious study of scripture as the primary basis for their report. I also hope and pray that this scripturally serious study will serve as a reliable resource to others in our circles who submit to the authority of scripture. My prayers are with you!

  3. We have a number of reliable resources that have been produced by our denomination….if we would only read them. Susan Hunt and Ligon Duncan wrote together Women’s Ministry of the Local Church, which would on its own be a great resource to have read and remembered. Also, Susan Hunt has written Heirs of the Covenant which while speaking directly to the need for solid on-going Christian Education in our churches also speaks about what all people are called upon to do in the service of God and Church. Susan has also written extensively on the Titus 2 woman which culminated in the book Spiritual Mothering and the best book I know of on the biblical role of women entitled By Design: God’s Distinctive Calling for Women. And there are others.

  4. Mike Singenstreu says:

    Oh and 2 more…Leadership for Women in the Church…which helps women focus their gifts and the male leadership to know how to use such gifts. then there is The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood which focuses on how the church should be the discipler of women for the good of the church. These are all available from the book store and they should be read by every RE and TE in the denomination. With such great materials available did we really need another study committee?

    • W H Jeffries says:

      “With such great materials available did we really need another study committee?”

      Not really.