Term Limits in the Adventist Church
A few current examples
BY ROY ADAMS
As the above subtitle suggests, this list is far from exhaustive. It’s simply a random spot-check involving only three of our world divisions.
1. In the North American Division (NAD), three union conferences contain conferences with a term-limits policy: Atlantic, Columbia, and Lake.
a. In the Atlantic Union Conference the Bermuda Conference limits its president to three 3-year consecutive terms.
b. In the Columbia Union Conference the Allegheny East Conference limits its president to two 4-year consecutive terms.
c. In the Lake Union Conference the Lake Region Conference adopted a term-limits policy in May of 2010, restricting its president to three 4-year consecutive terms.
In the NAD the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada (Canadian Union Conference) presents a special case. There are no term-limit policies; but in the Ontario Conference a president who serves two 4-year terms must receive a two-thirds majority vote to be reelected for an additional term.
2. In the Inter-American Division there is no formal term-limits policy. But for the past two decades or so in the Bahamas Conference, there’s been an unwritten “gentleman’s agreement” that the president may serve for no more than two 4-year consecutive terms.
3. In the Trans-European Division the Norwegian Union Conference practices term limits. There the president may serve for only two 5-year terms, a policy that’s been in effect since 1992.
With these examples for a start, some readers may wish to explore what’s happening in other divisions.