Presidential Perspectives

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Can Adventist pastors use titles such as “general” or “captain”?

Q: Can Seventh-day Adventist pastors and ordained ministers use titles such as “general” or “captain” such as is used in a government’s military or in the Salvation Army? — Gin, from Myanmar

A: In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the most common title for clergy is “pastor.” “Elder” is often used if the minister is ordained, although “pastor” is also used by those who are ordained. In a hospital or prison setting, the title of “chaplain” is frequently used. We do not use military titles for Adventist clergy unless they are currently working as a military chaplain. In that case, they are referred to by their military rank.