Lutheran Church confirms male-only pastors

Lutheran Church confirms male-only pastors

he Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand will continue its practice of ordaining only male pastors (ministers), as confirmed by a vote at its General Synod, held this past weekend in Melbourne.

A vote on changing the church’s constitution to allow the ordination of both men and women has been put to previous synods but has been consistently rejected. The church requires a two-thirds majority to pass the amendment; 229 votes were required at the weekend’s synod, but the vote fell 26 votes short.

The practice of ordaining men only was written into the Theses of Agreement, the document outlining the bases on which two Lutheran synods came together as the Lutheran Church of Australia in 1966.

Calls for the ordination of women have been growing within the denomination, reflected in the voting patterns at recent synods. A process of wide consultation across congregations and the publication of materials expounding the biblical and theological issues have failed to resolve continued division over the issue within the church.

At the weekend’s synod, a follow-up proposal was made to explore a model allowing two different practices of ordination within the church. This proposal, which required only a simple majority, was passed. The model may allow for two different synods, possibly non-geographical in basis, which would take the issue to the congregational level, effectively allowing congregations to make their own decisions as to whether they would install a woman as pastor. A completed model is due for presentation to pastors in 2024, and to the wider church, possibly for a vote, in 2025.

Lutheran churches worldwide disagree on the practice of the ordination of women. Lutheran churches in many European countries ordain women, but the Missouri Synod of the United States continues to ordain men only. 

Nick Mattiske blogs on books at and is the illustrator of Thoughts That Feel So Big.


5 thoughts on “Lutheran Church confirms male-only pastors”

  1. “The Lutheran Church continues to deny the reality of the biblically-valid Spirit-inspired giftedness of women for ordained ministry” would be my headline. (Obviously, I am not a good copy editor!)

    1. Where in Scriptures did you find women being allowed as Teachers/Preachers/Pastors, no matter how “biblically-valid Spirit-inspired giftedness of women for ordained ministry” they were? 1 Timothy 2:12 – “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man,….”The Apostle Paul forbids women from exercising any type of authority over men in the church assembly , they are all to be men as is clear from the requirements in 1 Timothy 3: 2 & 5). Just because we are living in a post-modern age, does not mean we are free to violate God’s ordinances from the New Covenant which was granted to us through the death of His Son Jesus.

      1. Women are the first people to preach, because they were the first ones to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection (while the male disciples doubted them).

        In Romans, Paul praises the ministries of Priscilla and Aquila.

        It’s worth delving into the context of the Timothy letter you quote. There are some great resources including a report released by the Uniting Church’s assembly back in 1990.


  2. I am afraid I am in total agreement with VEE FLAVEL and the Lutheran Church! I must make it clear that I am not a part of its congregation! It is becoming fashionable for many churches to move away from Bible teaching in the name of modernisation!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top