Tag Archives: Germany

From Friedemann Hebart


Prof. Dr. Friedemann Hebart

The following letter from Friedemann Hebart was written after reading Neal Nuske’s article and coming across John Miller’s comments.

Friedemann HebartMay 17, 2:35 am

Hi, after reading Neal’s superb theological and hermenuetical analysis (at last) I only just stumbled across what John Miller entitles ‘The Blaess/Hebart Misogyny Statement’ and his conviction that ‘Jesus would vote against Blaess, Hebart and Semmler.’ As much as I agree in every detail with his assessment of the rules of synodical procedure and share his anger at the way a President of the church could dare to ignore those rules, the motions submitted by Queensland and Adelaide congregations, and even a point of order that apparently was raised, I think I should nevertheless correct any misapprehension and comment on my father’s role in co-formulating the theses on the office of the ministry 63 years ago (!); it was 15 years later that they were ultimately accepted as part of the Theses of Agreement in 1965:

1. One sees things somewhat differently today than in 1950, and it is good that it is so. In 1950 there was, as far as I can see, only one ordained Lutheran woman pastor in the world, and that was in Denmark (1948). In Germany during the war, pastors (males) were called up for military service and rather than leave their parishes vacant, the churches arranged for trained woman theologians to take over their duties. When the pastors who survived World War II returned, the women had to relinquish their pastoral role; nobody really questioned that. Perhaps they should have, but as far as I know they didn’t. The first ordination of a woman in the Bavarian Lutheran Church (to which I now belong) was 30 years later in 1975. Even Peter Brunner who wrote the essay on the headship of Christ (“The Office of the Ministry and Women”) – a favourite of the opponents of women’s ordination – wrote it in 1959, possibly as a reaction to the ordination of the first woman pastor in Germany in 1958. His own daughter, incidentally was ordained later. I believe it was against his will. The first ordination of a woman in the then Lutheran Church of America was in 1970, possibly as a result of the hermeneutic arguments of Dr. Krister Stendahl (1921 – 2008; Professor Harvard School of Divinity, 1954-84; Bishop of Stockholm, 1984-88; Harvard 1989; more below!).

2 The question of the ordination of women was therefore virtually non-existent everywhere in the Lutheran Church in 1950, and for some time after that. It wasn’t an issue. I don’t know why the theses on the ministry even dealt with it in 1950. There would have been no difference of opinion at least on this matter in the Intersynodical Committee; I can only assume it was mentioned for the sake of systematic completeness. (Luther for example deals with it in his commentary on 1. Peter – and doesn’t entirely exclude it – although it was entirely unrealistic in his time.) At Immanuel Seminary (as at Concordia Seminary) since the 60′s there were regularly prospective deaconesses studying selected theological subjects. I can’t remember any of them at the time arguing for (or – gasp! – seeking) women’s ordination, or anybody even suggesting that women might be ordained.

3. After I succeeded my father in Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary in 1980, we certainly had what were probably the first women students who desired ordination (and were exceptionally qualified in every way). And when the LCA was founded in 1966 the question of the role of women in the church was certainly already being raised elsewhere. Krister Stendahl’s famous essay, ‘The Bible and the Role of Women. A Case Study in Hermeneutics’, was published in Swedish in 1958, but appeared in English in 1966. I discovered it in a reprint when I returned to Australia from my doctoral studies in Germany in 1973 and was virtually converted on the spot. I remember discussing it with my father at the time and later; the hermeneutic arguments were irrefutable. I don’t know what he taught in Dogmatics between 1971 and his retirement in 1979 at the age of 70, but I knew his hermeneutic principles very well and at that time he was certainly no opponent of the ordination of women, as he told me.
In the late ‘seventies or ealry ‘eighties (he died in 1990) he once said to me: There are some things I would change in the Theses today, but we had to make compromises in those days for the sake of the union. Women’s ordination wasn’t a burning issue in the formative period of the LCA ; and in the precarious situation of the newly-formed church with differing hermeneutics between ‘the two sides’ it was very difficult indeed to take a stand on any matter dealt with in the holy and untouchable Theses of Agreement, or even to express theological views in new ways which might be interpreted as questioning the Theses without (as it was generally felt) endangering the whole of the LCA’s existence. I was personally affected by this situation. When I returned from Germany in 1973 after seven years’ absence the SA District Synod was in session. As I entered the plenary session, Dr. Sasse cried out for all to hear: ‘Here comes the great theologian from Germany who supports the ordination of women.’ A marvellous welcome on the part of my former teacher – and (unfortunately) it wasn’t even true, but it did make me think about having to take a stand. Another personal example of the dominance of the Theses and the need to tread warily for fear that the union might collapse: Later I was to be called to Luther Seminary. Although I had been an ordained pastor of the LCA since 1967 they decided I must submit first to a colloquium of the General Church Council. It dealt with two questions both covered by the Theses of Agreement:
(a) What are your views on the ordination of women? My answer (short form): There are only two statements on the role of women in the ministry which pose difficulties, and we need to look at the context in which those texts of Paul were written. But apart from that; we don’t have doctrines in the Lutheran Church based on two passages of the Bible. [By rhe way, that means that he question of women’s ordination is not a doctrinal issue and therefore does not require a two-thirds majority at Synod!].
(b) The other question dealt with my (suspect) treatment of Law and Gospel in ‘One in the Gospel’ which had just appeared as a book. I passed the colloquium, sort of, and it was decided I could lecture at Luther Seminary as head of the Systematics Department, but not in any ‘sensitive’ theological areas: Justification, Law & Gospel, Church and Ministry, Sacraments, Eschatology. These were to be taught by the new Principal Dr Henry Hamann. I was only allowed to teach Creation and Redemption, Ethics and Philosophy. That was the atmosphere in the early 80′s (until…?).

4. In the light of the above situation in which from 1939 till 1965 it was uncertain what the ultimate outcome of the Intersynodical discussions might be, and from 1966 until (…?) few were prepared to rock the boat for fear that the union might collapse. It is unhistorical and offensive for John Miller to speak of a mysoginistic Blaess/Hebart/Semmler triumvirate; and for him to add that ‘Jesus would vote against Blaess, Hebart and Semmler’ is utterly unacceptable. Statements like this do not serve the cause of WMN in any useful way that I can see. – I can’t speak for the Drs. Blaess and Semmler, but my father was anything but a misogynist. Some of the WMN people may remember that my wife initiated some of the first moves towards women’s ordination in Adelaide in the early 1980s (30 years after the Theses on the Ministry and 15 years after the union of 1965) with e.g. Margaret Mayer, Anne Bartsch and John Sabel and wrote articles e.g. for the student paper of the LSF. There were also meetings in our home first in Highgate, later in Malvern. My father (in retirement) looked benignly on these efforts, my outspoken mother greeted them. In his retirement my father was no longer allowed (!) as emeritus to teach at Luther Seminary: Henry Hamann had the Seminary Council change the rules; he said my father had had a good run and he didn’t want to be Principal in my father’s shadow. So my father taught Dogmatics at the Adelaide College of Divinity for some years and had absolutely no problem training women as pastors for other denominations… So much for his mysoginism.

As for Dr. Blaess: my father always spoke most positively of him as one who in his quiet way together with Henry Hamann was instrumental in convincing the more conservative members of the Intersynodical Committee not to look for a heretic under every stone. But in 1950 – 1965 Blaess like the others was a product of his time, and women’s ordination was about as relevant to Australian Lutherans as beaming oneself to the moon. Dr Fred Blaess a mysoginist? We don’t call people bigotted either, simply because they are not actively involved in promoting interreligious dialogue.

I cannot and will not speak for Mike Semmler. If what has come to my ears about his handling of the women’s ordination motions is true, he has behaved irresponsibly and brought the office of President into disrepute. I hope John Henderson will not suffer under the actions of the outgoing President, particularly as the latter apparently still has the power with the GCC to fill vacant positions until his actual retirement in July (?). Here in Bavaria, if it interests anyone, the Bishop takes up office as soon as he or she is elected (our regional bishop for North Bavaria here is a woman) and is at liberty to seek the advice also of the predecessor…

Sorry this has got a bit long for a blog – but didn’t someone write that it might be interesting to follow up what those naughty people Blaess and Hebart actually did?

I hope and pray that John Henderson will find a way to solve the ordination issue as soon as possible. It is for me unthinkable and utterly irresponsible to exclude half of the world’s population from the formal proclamation of the gospel.




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An undelivered sermon – Rev. Volker Stolle, Mannheim, Germany

Dr Volker Stolle

An “Un-delivered“ Sermon on the Occasion of the Launch of the “WO[1] Initiative”

– By Rev Volker Stolle, Mannheim, Germany. It would not have been in concordance with the polity of the LCA “sister” church in Germany, the Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK).  This sermon must have been written between 2001 and 2005.

Before retirement, he was a lecturer at the SELK seminary in Oberursel (North of Frankfurt/M) and previously the director of the SELK Mission Blekmar.  In Germany, he probably would be the person best informed about the history of the Old Lutherans in Prussia (the roots of the LCA and the Missouri Synod Lutherans) and (some of) the current affairs.


Dear SELK[2] congregation

In our church, each initiative comes with the [traditionally Biblical] motto, “And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”[3].  However, in this case it is difficult to begin liturgically.  We can not yet agree how to understand the Word of God.  Therefore, this has to be an un-delivered, purely fictional sermon, which may however hopefully soon become reality, and thus it also is an angry[4] sermon.

The Bible text for our sermon is Ephesians 4,7-8.11-12 (KJV):  “But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. … And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

Dear congregation,

He has given gifts to the people.  As the Son of God became human and not only [a male] Man, and as God loves humankind in totality and not only a part of it, so Christ has spread widely his gifts of grace.  He did not leave out any, woman or man, who are related to Him in faith and who call Him their Lord.  He has given gifts as such to all humans.  And this is surely just beautiful.

Today, Hans and Grete [two fictional candidates for Ordination] are standing in front of us.  In their [final] exams they have given outstanding proof that Christ has also endowed them with their gifts.  And now we place them in the Ministry of the Church.  And while inducting them onto their office we know that Christ too is installing them.

They will help in preparing the Saints.  Christ is tirelessly committed to caring for us, and he utilizes the ministry of ordinary people like you and me, whom, however, he has endowed with his gifts.  In this way his work progresses unstoppably in this world.

However, there have been times in which the Church did not dare to use all the Christ’s gifts.  The church has for a long time [and] of deference to the general conditions in our society ordained only men into its ministries, and it saw itself supported by the words of the Apostle Paul.  It would have been considered objectionable if women as well had come forward in the public sphere of the church.  The intention was to protect the church from malicious suspicions.  And yet it maintained the use of the inclusive language [of the Bible] and held fast to the Word of the Scripture according to which aptitude for the ministry [of the Church] rests with [all] the people.  Not only in our Bible text but also in his Second Letter to Timothy, Paul instructed his pupil with the rigour of the New Testament:  “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2, KJV).

And so [Philipp] Melanchthon[5] already in the first theological treatise of the Lutheran Reformation defined the “Servant of the Gospel” as “a person ordained by God directly or indirectly to preach the Gospel and to administer the Sacraments, and to chastise through the Word, but not by physical force.”  And in his 1610 theological textbook that remained authoritative in the Lutheran Church for two centuries, Leonhard Hutter[6] responded to the question “What then is the Servant of the Church?” by answering:  “It is a person with divine authority, who has been called by the church in an orderly manner in order to preach purely the Word of God and to administer the Sacraments according to their institution by Christ.”

Without any gender-related restriction, the word is about “a person”.  That was anything but self-understood.  For the Roman-Catholic Church the Office of the Church derived decidedly from the Old Testament understanding of sacrificial priesthood.  This perception supported the teaching of the sacrifice of the mass.  By condemning the sacrifice of the mass, the Reformers discerned that the Office of the Church derived from Christ and the Apostles and not to mean borrowing the idea of the Priesthood as practised at the temple of Jerusalem.  With this recognition, the stipulation of granting this office only to men also became obsolete.  Though the Reformation identified thus recognition in its teaching, it did not transmit it into congregational practice:  One may hold back in the in the matter of churchly practice if this serves the [cause of] peace in the church.

As the Lutheran Church carefully studied the biblical teachings, Johann Gerhard replaced the term “Person”, modern at his time, again with the Old Testament word of “Man” [i.e. human, or in German:  Mensch].  He wrote:  “The Service of the Church is the holy and public office instituted by God and assigned to particular people by a rightful call.  Endowed with a particular authority they are to preach the Word of God and to administer the Sacraments, and also to protect the churchly polity to facilitate the conversion of people and their salvation, and truly proclaim the Glory of God.”

Accordingly, it is the humans [i.e. the people, Menschen] that are the subject of the ecclesiastical office.  Gerhard elucidated this principle in detail in a special chapter.  God does not, in his love of humankind, ordain angels for this purpose [of ministry], but just people despite all their weaknesses.  But of course, Gerhard considered women’s weaknesses to be such an impediment as to disqualify them for this office.  Yet he emphasised that this limitation was not a matter of principle but valid only in view of specific circumstances — i.e. in the public sphere and under normal conditions, thus making it in fact a general rule.

Today, we are happy no longer to have to take into account such considerations as were deemed necessary in the past.  It has taken a long time for societal conditions to align themselves with the pointers of the Gospel.

Clearly and without ambiguity the Apostle Paul had already stated that in the Christina community inter-human limitations resulting from natural, social or religious differences were abolished:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galations 3:28, see also 1 Corinthians 12,13).

However, it was still not easy to bring together Jewish and Gentile Christians and to build up an atmosphere of general tolerance.  It [also] took a long time to abolish slavery and serfdom.  And now is at last the equality of man und women too is slowly being established.  This societal developments accords well with the Gospel.

We rejoice that people are willing to contribute their gifts endowed to them by Christ towards the preparation of the Saints.

We are grateful that this has become possible without any restrictions.

For our times desperately need people who commit themselves, with all the gifts granted to them, to spread the Word of God, to lead [people] to Baptism, to administer Communion, to express God’s Salvation to individual persons, and to direct the building up of the church.  As the Word of God has already become precious in our lands (cf 1 Samuel 3,1), valiant commitment is required to not leave our fellow humans without the comfort of God.

Surely, the Lord Christ, who grants the gifts to people, is the same who has previously ascended to the heavens and has taken the prisoners with him — that is the Lord unto whom “all power has been given in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28,18 KJV), and he who has since long taken control of those powers that pretend to be great in the world.  He governs this world, and He wants to build his kingdom with all peoples.

Christ’s gifts granted to the people serve this great goal.  However, we may not want to limit their deployment overanxiously, but rather foster them as much as possible and therefore also allow ourselves to be engaged.  Therefore we rejoice today to commission you, Hans and Grete, for the Service of the Gospel and to be able in God’s name to send you into the work of His Kingdom.

May the Lord, who has given people gifts, bless your the deployment of theses gifts;  and [may he] bring many more gifted people to stand alongside you.



[1] WO = Women’s Ordination — FO = Frauen-Ordination

[2] SELK = Selbständig Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Deutschland (Independant Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany),is a confessional Lutheran church body of Germany. It is a member of the European Lutheran Conference and a member of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) (of which the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod of North America is also a member). The SELK synod has about 36,000 members in 200 congregations. The seat of SELK is in Hanover.  Further information:   , English; , German. .

[3] Colossians 3,17

[4] The author is playing with the German word „ungehalten“, which may refer to the delivery of a sermon („Predigt halten“) or the English equivalent of angry, indignantly, or displeased.

[5] Born Philipp Schwartzerdt (February 16, 1497 – April 19, 1560), M. was a German reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems. He stands next to Luther and Calvin as a reformer, theologian, and molder of Protestantism. As much as Luther, he is the primary founder of Lutheranism;

[6] Born at Nellingen near Ulm, Bavaria, Germany (January 19, 1563 – October 23, 1616), Hutter was a German Lutheran theologian.

Dear reader of this sermon,

Why can this sermon not be delivered in an SELK church?

Is it, in your opinion, because

a) this sermon is un-Biblical?

b) that we first should listen to the [SELK] Constitution (Paragraph 7,2)[1]?

c) that we can only part from old traditions with difficulty?

d) that we quite to establish a counter society?

e) that we quite consciously intend establishing a counter society?

I would like to invite [you all] to a post-sermon discussion.  I consider it important that we share our views about these questions.  It is for the sake of the Gospel that we may not duck out of giving answer.  And we are surely searching for a joint answer.  Therefore, some hints and references:

* “Hans and Grete“ are the proverbial pair of [typically German] names, which Martin Luther too uses in his “Marriage Booklet” [1529], and that is part of the Lutheran Book of Concord (cf the diminutive forms in the fairytale “Hansel and Gretel”[2]).  Incidentally, Luther’s parents were called Hans and Grete.

* Philipp Melanchthon: Loci praecipui theologici von 1559. Definitiones: “Minister Evangelii est persona ordinata a Deo mediate vel immediate ad docendum Evangelium et ad Sacramentorum administrationem et ad puniendum verbo, non vi corporali” (StA 2, 796,3-6). This definition represents a personalised translation of Article 5 of the Augsburg Confession, which defines the “Office of the Ministry”.

* Leonhard Hutter: Compendium Locorum Theologicorum, First Edition, Wittenberg 1610:   “11. Quid igitur est Minister Ecclesiae? Est persona, autoritate divina, per Ecclesiam legitime vocata, ad pure docendum verbum Dei, et administrandum Sacramenta, iuxta institutionem Christ” (re-edited and re-published by Wolfgang Trillhaas, Berlin 1961, 79,33-36).

* On 15 June 1563, the Roman Catholic Church determined during its 23. Session of the Council of Trent:  “According to God’s ordinance, Sacrifice and Priesthood are interrelated in such a way that both exist in each Testament.  As the Catholic Church has visibly received the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist according to the institution of the Lord, one has also to confess that in her a new, visible and external priesthood exists into which the old [priesthood] has been transferred [integrated ?].”  (Denzinger/Hünermann: Kompendium der Glaubensbekenntnisse und kirchlichen Lehrentscheidungen, 37. Auflage, Freiburg i. B. 1991, 568 [Nr. 1764]).  The statement “Inter insigniores” on the admission of women to priesthood, issued by the Congregation of the Faith on 15 October 1976, justifies the exclusion of women solely on the basis of the Mystery of Christ and the Mystery of the Church (Denzinger/Hünermann, 1385-1392 [4590-4606]).  Significantly, it skips the fundamental reference to the Old Testament concept of priesthood.

* Johann Gerhard: Loci Theologici (1610-1622), Locus 23, Caput 10: „Ministerium ecclesiasticum [est] officium sacrum et publicum divinitus institutum ac certis hominibus per legitimam vocationem commendatum, ut peculiari potestate instructi verbum Dei doceant, sacramenta administrent ac disciplinam ecclesiasticam conservent ad hominum conversionem et salutem promovendam, Dei vero gloriam propagandam“ (Edition Ed. Preuss Vol. 6, Berlin 1868, 265).

* In defining the Ordination in terms of entrusting “the office of the church to a person who is qualified and has been called by the Church” (“per quam ministerium ecclesiasticum personae idoneae ad illud ab ecclesia vocatae commendatur”; Caput 3, Sectio 12; ibid 97), he [Gerhard] however picks up the term person again.

* Johann Gerhard, Locus 23, Caput 4, Sectio 1 „De materia in qua ministerium“: “It pleased the Lord to commit the orderly administration of the office of the church not to the angels, but to people” (“Deus ordinariam ecclesiastici ministerii administrationem non angelis, sed hominibus commendare voluerit”; ibid., 121),

* Johann Gerhard, Locus 23, Caput 4, Sectio 1, Quaestio 3 “On the utilization of women for the ministry of the church?” (“An etiam feminae ad ministerium ecclesiasticum adhibendae?”; ibid., 125f).  After referring to the apostolic teachings in 1 Cor 14,34-35 und 1 Tim 2,12-14, Gerhard offers five reasons why this is not possible:

1.  It is against the Natural Order and the Law.

2.  It is against decency and humility.

3.  A male has a better decision-making ability and power of judgement.

4.  A woman is able to lead her husband to sin (Eve and Adam).

5.  The female propensity to idle talk has to be restricted.

However, these arguments are being put into their theological context:  “In the private sphere, women of faith can, indeed they shall, establish a familila or domestic congregation.  Consequently, distinctions are to be observed between

1.  the ministries of the church generally and the ministry of preaching in particular;

2.  a public or church institution, and the private or family setting;

3.  a regulation for the normal case and for the emergency case.

(“Privatim tamen familiam sive domesticam ecclesiam instituere et possunt et debent piae feminae. Distinguendum igitur

1. inter munera ecclesiastica in genere et officium docendi in specie;

2. inter institutionem publicam sive ecclesiasticam et privatam sive domesticam;

3. inter ordinariam regulam et casum necessitatis extraordinarium”; ibid., 126).

In Orthodox Dogmatics, the positioning of a statement has always to be regarded in the hierarchical system of the line of thought.  The superior positioning of the above statement that the “material” in which the office [of the ministry] can be found is the people, determines all further statements and relativises them in view of the main statement.  It is therefore not of the essence of the Office [of the church] that it be administered by a male.

*  The 9th General Convent of the Pastors of the SELK in 2001 restricted itself by not allowing further applications on the topic of the Women’s Ordination for their next conference in 2005.  However, they did not mean to adjourn discussing this topic but rather create space for an intensive study of the following question:  “Even though it appears to demand too much patience of many in our church, further intensive efforts are required to reach an agreement on the evaluation of the Biblical findings […]  The theological task is being carried out with the objective of preparing a clarification of the matter of Ordination of Women in our church” (appendix 9 to the APK 2001 minutes in Oberursel).  The invitation to discuss this sermon also serves this purpose.

[1] Grundordnung der Selbständigen Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche (16.06.2007): §7.2:  „Dieses Amt kann nur Männern übertragen werden.“ (This office [of preaching] can be conferred only to men.);

[2] or “Little John and Little Margaret”, a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812.


Posted by on November 29, 2011 in history, theology


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Women’s Ordination in world Lutheran churches – updated June 16th 2014

World Lutheranism has been moving towards women’s ordination for nigh on a century. High Statistics on Lutheran Women’s Ordination Hide Reality of Marginalisation. 

Around 80 percent of the 145 LWF member churches ordain women. (updated on Katie and Martin on 16th Jan 2012)

The following list is not complete.  I would be grateful for any corrections or updates.

History of women’s ordination in world Lutheranism
1926 Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Nederland ordains female priests
1927 Evangelical Church in Germany accepts Pfarrhelferinnen (Assistants to Priests), 1930s woman Vicars. In Eastern part of  Germany women took more and more over as actual priests during WW2, and remained so after  the war.
1960 Women priests in West Germany and 1978 total equality with male priests.
Before 1938 Lutheran Church in Austria Vicars
1948 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark
1948 The Lutherans in Schlesia
1951 The Lutherans in Slovakia
1960 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sweden
1961 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norway
1964 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium
1970’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
1974 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iceland
1986/88 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
1988 Indonesian Lutheran Church
2000 The Church of Pakistan ordained its first women deacons. It is a united church which dates back to the 1970 local merger of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and other Protestants
2002 Central African Republic
2008 – The Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church.  15 out of the 16 LWF member churches in the Latin American and Caribbean region now ordain women – dates yet to be determined
2009 Mexican Lutheran Church
2009 Cameroon Lutheran Church.

Postscript 16th Jan 2012
2011 The South Andhra Lutheran Church (SALC) in India ordained its first women pastors on 12 January

Postscript 7th August 2012
1975 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia – but “women’s ordination has been suspended” since 1993

Postscript 16th June 2014
2004 Taiwan – Lutheran Church of Taiwan ordains first women pastors
2005 Zambia – Zambian Lutheran Church ordains first female pastors.
2006 Norway – Evangelical Free Church of Norway (a nationwide Lutheran Church) ordains its first female pastors.
2009 Great Britain – First Bishop of Great Britain Lutheran Church installed.
2011 Hong Kong – Jenny Chan installed as the Head of Lutheran Church, Hong Kong
2012 Cameroon – Evangelical Lutheran Church ordains first women ministers.
2012 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland installs its first woman bishop. Link1  Link2 (in language)
2014 Lutheran Church in Chile ordains its first woman pastor. Link
2014 Sweden’s first female archbishop sworn in. Link



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