The following statement regarding women’s ordination was printed on the same page as an Ellen White article on obedience in the Signs of the Times, January 24, 1895. If Ellen White did not endorse this position, she would likely have spoken on it or written to correct it.
No. 176. Who Should be Church Officers?
Should women be elected to offices in the church when there are enough brethren?
If by this is meant the office of elder, we should say at once, No. But there are offices in the church which women can fill acceptably, and oftentimes there are found sisters in the church who are better qualified for this than brethren, such offices, for instance as church clerk, treasurer, librarian of the tract society, etc., as well as the office of deaconess, assisting the deacons in looking after the poor, and in doing such other duties as would naturally fall to their lot. The qualifications for church elder are set forth in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:7-9.
We do not believe that it is in God’s plan to give to women the ordained offices of the church. By this we do not mean to depreciate their labors, service, or devotion. The sphere of woman is equal to that of man. She was made a help meet, or fit, for man, but that does not mean that her sphere is identical to that of man’s. The interests of the church and the world generally would be better served if the distinctions given in God’s word were regarded.
Signs of the Times, January 24, 1895, Vol. 21. No. 4, Pg. 3
Ellen White also wrote:
“The primary object of our college was to afford young men an opportunity to study for the ministry and to prepare young persons of both sexes to become workers in the various branches of the cause.” (Testimonies, volume 5, page 60)