Holy Orders in the ACNA: A Public Appeal to the College of Bishops of the ACNA

If you want to sign this appeal, please visit The Augustine Appeal.

The Augustine Appeal

As the College of Bishops prepares to elect a new Archbishop, we celebrate with gratitude the 15th anniversary of the Anglican Church in North America, recognizing the Province’s steadfast commitment to orthodox Anglicanism and gospel mission.

While we are hopeful for the continued fruitfulness of orthodox Anglicanism in North America, we believe that the unresolved issue of women’s ordination to the priesthood imperils the mission of our Province. As ACNA clergy, we wish to restate the biblical and consensus position of the Great Tradition. We hope that this statement will unify clergy seeking to articulate the Faith once for all delivered, and chart the direction we pray our next Archbishop will lead us.

  1. We affirm the College of Bishops’ 2017 Vancouver Statement that the ordination of women to the priesthood is a “recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order,” and we affirm the theological conclusion that the practice has “insufficient scriptural warrant.”
  2. We believe the teaching of Holy Scripture, as interpreted by the consensus of the Great Tradition, that only men may be ordained to the priesthood. With humility and filial affection, we pray that our Bishops will conform to this teaching and practice.
  3. We receive from our own Church the method by which this conclusion is reached: The Bible must be obeyed “in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading” (Jerusalem Declaration, Art. 2). That is, Scripture should be interpreted according to the “Church’s historic interpretation” (To Be A Christian, Q. 33). This hermeneutical principle rightly prevented our Church from allowing same-sex marriage. This same principle likewise makes no allowance for the ordination of women to the priesthood.
  4. We affirm the inherent dignity and equality of women, made in the image of God, and reject any ideology that devalues God’s good creation of both male and female. Any conception of ministry that renders sexual difference meaningless, or that values women only insofar as they conform to male norms, opposes God’s created order.
  5. We advocate for the further development of a robust biblical anthropology, underwritten by the Great Tradition, that elucidates the significance of sexual difference, especially as it pertains to both Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders.
  6. We assert that a flourishing Church welcomes and values the spiritual gifts of her daughters as well as her sons, as evidenced by the men and women honored in our Calendar of Commemorations (BCP 2019). We reject clericalism which holds forth ordained ministry as a superior form of serving Christ. We desire to see a renewal of lay ministries of men and women equipped for the work of ministry and building up of the body of Christ.
  7. We pray for the unity of Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We long for the reunion of a divided Christendom. We believe, however, that such unity never comes at the expense of Apostolic Tradition, Catholic Order, and scriptural warrant; rather, it is through these that the Church will realize the full and fruitful unity for which our Lord prayed.
  8. We interpret the legal stipulations of our provincial constitution to be non-constraining of our Bishops in their stewardship and teaching of the Catholic Faith (ACNA Constitution, Art. X.1). Therefore, we are hopeful that the College of Bishops, led by the Holy Spirit and exercising their God-given authority, can find a creative solution to restore orthodoxy to Holy Orders prior to any constitutional amendment.

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior.  Amen.

The Feast of St. Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 2024

  • The Rev. Blake Johnson
  • The Rev. Ben Jefferies
  • The Rev. Jay Thomas

Signed by (Initial Signatories)

  • The Rev. Dr. Hans Boersma
  • The Rev. Dr. Ben Sharpe
  • The Rev. Dr. Gerald McDermott
  • The Rev. Brandon LeTourneau
  • The Rev. David McElrea
  • The Rev. Kyle Clark
  • The Rev. Benjamin Davis
  • The Very Rev. Austin Lee Goggans
  • The Rev. Joshua Shane Kramer
  • The Rev. J. Kelman
  • The Rev. Kelly O’Sullivan
  • The Rev. Dr. J. S. S. Patterson
  • The Rev. Matthew Maule
  • The Rev. Nicholas E. Ziegenhagen
  • The Rev. Ricky McCarl 
  • The Rev. Barton J. Gingerich
  • The Rev. Charles A. Collins, Jr.
  • The Rev. Hunter Van Wagenen
  • The Rev. Dr. Eric Jorgensen
  • The Rev. Dcn. Kevin Murphy
  • The Rev. Can. Stephen Linkous
  • The Rev. Jacob A. Rogers
  • The Rev. Joshua Spencer
  • The Rev. Dr. Kelly L. O’Lear
  • The Rev. Dr. Eric Parker 
  • The Rev. Shay Gregorie Jr.
  • The Rev. Dr. James Andrew Gibson III
  • The Rev. Jeremy Johnson
  • The Rev. Enrique Melchor 
  • The Rev. Michael J. Carr, Sr.
  • The Rev. Tait Deems
  • The Rev. Philip D. Lyman
  • The Ven. Lee R Stafki
  • The Rev. Jonathan M. Kell
  • The Rev. Can. J Scott Houser
  • The Rev. R.Keith Boettner 
  • The Rev. Dr. Jon C. Shuler
  • The Rev. Spencer Amaral
  • The Rev. Benjamin Pearce
  • The Rev. Dr. Paul C. Edgerton
  • The Rev. Philip Hanner
  • The Rev. Dr. Jady Koch
  • The Rev. Michael Blitz
  • The Ven. Dr. Jon W Abboud
  • The Rev. Dcn. Carl F. Wegner
  • The Rev. David George 
  • The Rev. Derek Roberts
  • The Rev. Dr. Seth Snyder
  • The Rev. Denys A. Scully
  • The Rev. Shawn Riley
  • The Rev. Jerry K. Shriver, Jr.
  • The Rev. Mitchell Keppler
  • The Rev. Dr. Charles Erlandson
  • The Rev. Warwick Fuller
  • The Rev. Daniel Claire
  • The Rev. Andrew Evans
  • The Rev. Richard Tarsitano
  • The Rev. Sulmane Maigadi
  • The Ven. Ryan Davis
  • The Rev. Kenneth D. Mills
  • The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Trostle
  • The Rev. Jarrod Hill
  • The Rev. Jesse Barkalow
  • The Rev. Elmer S. Miguel
  • The Rev. Andrew Powell
  • The Rev. Donald Hughes
  • The Rev. Jeff Stubbs, SSC
  • The Very Rev. John Jordan, SSC
  • The Rev. Andrew J. Thebeau
  • The Very Rev. Alan Horton
  • The Rev. Richard R. Daly
  • The Rev. Joseph Francis SSC
  • The Rev. William T. Estes
  • The Rev. Dr. Charles Thebeau
  • The Rev. Edward A Fitzhugh, SSC
  • The Rev. Spencer Stubblefield
  • The Rev. Can. Dwight D. Duncan
  • The Very Rev. Donald R. Sackett
  • The Rev. Andrew Petta
  • The Rev. Travis Province
  • The Rev. Timothy Taylor
  • The Rev. Dr. Jeffery Logan 
  • The Rev. Can. Robert Tomlinson SSC
  • The Very Rev. William A. Crary, Jr.
  • The Rev. Sergio Leal
  • The Rev. John Heffron
  • The Rev. Terence Jordan
  • The Very Rev. Cooper W. Morelock
  • The Rev. John Phelps
  • The Very Rev. Michael James Novotny
  • The Rev. Lawrence Adams
  • The Rev. Richard W. Workowski
  • The Rev. Alan Heatherington
  • The Very Rev. Can. Eric T. Raskopf
  • The Rev. Can. Dr. Robert W. Bosworth, Jr., SSC
  • The Very Rev. Chris Findley 
  • The Rev. Can. John Munson
  • The Rev. Stuart B. Smith
  • The Rev. Brandon J. Hughes
  • The Rev. Zack Clemmons 
  • The Ven. Isaac J. Rehberg
  • The Rev. Joseph P Calandra, Jr., BCC CPES-E
  • The Rev. Michael Brooks
  • The Rev. Nicholas C. Athanaelos, SSC
  • The Rev. Dr. Greg Peters
  • The Rev. Can. Steven Saul

If you want to sign this appeal, please visit The Augustine Appeal.

(c) 2024 North American Anglican