Christian and Missionary Alliance May Start Calling Women ‘Pastors’

The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) is considering further rebellion against the scriptures by changing their title restriction and starting to allow women who are in high leadership roles in the church to be called “pastor” – a proposal which is supported by over 60% of the denomination.

The curent position paper on their denominational website, which was updated just three years ago, reads in part:

Women may fulfill any function in the local church which the senior pastor and elders may choose to delegate to them consistent with the Uniform Policy for Accredited Churches and may properly engage in any kind of ministry except that which involves elder authority...

While desiring both genders to be mobilized to exercise their gifts in a variety of ministries and leadership roles, The Alliance continues to affirm its understanding of Scripture that elders are male members of the local church. This includes the elected elders of the local church and the senior/lead pastor.

In many ways the designation is just a formality, with women in the CMA functioning in the office of pastor, but don’t use the title as a courtesy, all with a knowing wink and smile to the congregations, who are in on it as well.

It’s for this reason that the CMA is looking to shake things up at the denomination’s annual General Council meeting later this month. President John Stumbo has already come out in support of it, releasing a video where he laments the fact that “some of our policies unnecessarily restrict otherwise called and qualified ministers” and suggesting that by not letting women be pastors they’ve overstepped the limits of scripture.

The policy change, when all said and done, would schizophrenically still allow only men to be Senior Pastors but would allow women to be ordained and hold “key places of leadership in the Alliance at the local church, district, and national levels,” while using the “pastor” moniker. Presently both men and women can go through a two-year training process with the CMA – the end result is that men are ordained and women are “consecrated,” which is a distinction without a difference.

The fact is that if the Christian and Missionary Alliance thinks they can hold the line on women not being senior pastors they are sadly mistaken. They’ve already lost the battle, the war, and host of firefights and skirmishes along the way, but are just too blind to see it. The minute they give an inch and start taking surveys to see what the denomination thinks, start bringing in resolutions to consider the matter, begin forming exploratory committees to consider the pros and cons of the problem, or begin taking votes, it’s over.

The correct way to handle this, of course, is to root out anyone in favor of it and then cull the mischief-makers in a bloodbath of excommunications and congregational shaming.

But because they will not do this, within a decade they’ll be gathering once more to put for General Conference 2029 to celebrate their resolution to let pastrixes become Senior Pastors, patting themselves on the back for this vile act of stunning theological presumption and betrayal.

8 thoughts on “Christian and Missionary Alliance May Start Calling Women ‘Pastors’

  1. It is already happening. A CMA church in Thunder Bay, Ontario , Canada, will be ordaining a woman to be their LEAD Pastor ( currently she is the Executive Pastor) on May 30, 2021. This church has had women in their pulpit for a number of years, including the wife of the previous pastor. It has been coming for a long time. But, that’s what happens when the weak men in the church don’t know their bible and sit on their hands. So sad.

    1. Keith, what you have said is misrepresentation of the truth. The CMA in Canada is a complete different entity than the CMA in the US. While it is tragically true that the CMA in Canada does allow this aberration of Scripture to happen, it is not right to conflate the two denominations. It would be like saying the Southern Baptist convention is the same as the Conservative Baptism convention. Though it is good warning as this is a similar pathway that the CMA in Canada took. I am in full agreement with you that this is what happens when week men lead. Just think we need to be careful to make a distinction between the two.

  2. I grew up in the Alliance church and have many stories to tell but will not air them. The CMA has made questionable moves for over 50 years. James is wrong, they are not two different denominations but follow the same rules. They are two different entities but that is for legal purposes, not denominational ones.

    It is sad to see the Alliance continuing down this sinful road but then they licensed Mr. Zacharias for 40 years, found no wrong doing in their investigation of him, and still stripped him of his ordination and license long after he had died. An old college mate of mine became the head of the Canadian Alliance and I have not been impressed with his leadership.

    1. @theologyarchaeology I am not incorrect in saying they are two different denominations. The CMA became autonomous from the CMA US in 1981, under president Mel Sylvester. Since then they have operated under similar but different Local church constitutions, by-laws, and statements of faith. They each have their own distinct board of directors. The US does not accept the Credentials of the CMA Canada and vice-versa. The highest governing body of the CMA Canada is GA and it operates without interference or influence of the CMA in the US. They do not follow the same rules. The CMA Canada drop pre-millenial from the Statement of Faith more than a decade ago. In 2000 Local churches in Canada were able to appoint women elders. In 2012 at GA in Winnepeg they voted to allow women to be ordained and in at 2016 GA in Calgary, they voted to allow local churches to call a woman as a Sr. Pastor. They do not follow the same rules. I know these things because I was present at several GA’s and voted against these changes, and up until recently, I have held high positions in the CMA in Canada. The CMA in Canada in my opinion is all but lost, under the current president, who may be your old mate from college, he has led the denomination into heresy and new-age practices. I hope and pray that this does not happen in the United States.

      1. Why are you giving me an alliance history lesson. I was there, I knew Mr. Sylvester, went to school with his sons et., etc. . I will disagree with you on the denomination issue but do not disagree with you on Mr. Hearn. While the Can. CMA has some autonomy they are still the same denomination.

  3. Since there is no way to edit a comment, I will have to make a separate post. Please provide proof for your claims about Mr. Hearn.

    1. This forum will not be sufficient to provide all my evidence, but I will provide what is fairly easy to find in plain sight. As I said I believe he is leading us that way, that is to say he is permitting or promoting heresy and new age. 1. Holy Spirit Encounter Weekend or Soul Care Seminars. Theses events promote that Kenotic Heresy. Up until recently the WCD provided a Holy Spirit Encounter toolkit with the content of their teaching on renewal. They have taken it down to revamp their site, when it is back up you can read it. They also perform the practices of “treasure hunting” on these weekends, which I believe to be gnostic or divination and thus new age. The Soul Care (Based on Rob Reimer’s book, CMA USA) seminars promote “deliverance” ministry which is basically SOZO prayer taught by Bethel. Doreen Virtue and former new age guru now believer in Christ believes this practice to be demonic. 2. The book that is being promoted in the CMA Canada is the Empowerment Pivot by Doug Balzer. This book also promotes the Kenotic heresy or a minimum and deviation of the Nestorian heresy. 3. Allowing Vox Alliance Church ( to be part of the denomination. The are an openly affirming church. He has received several letters about this for a number of years and nothing has been done. 4. In his own story he talks about his mystical (secret) experience in the woods. When he speaks he often quotes Bill Johnson from Bethel, whom I believe to be promoting syncretism and new age openly. There is much more that I could provide but this is not the right place for it, but I hope this is enough of a summary to show the substance of my claim.

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