1370 E. Robindale Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89123

Grace Valley
Christian Reformed Church


Glenda Suiter

Elder/Council Chair

Cathy Zylman


Denny Eitner


Dee Smith




Women Serving as Elders

The most extensive passage that discusses the qualifications for elders is 1 Timothy 3:1-7: “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil” (ESV).

Some argue, based on the presence of exclusively masculine pronouns (he and his) in the passage that only men can serve as elders. It is true that in most English translations, the pronouns he, his, and him occur numerous times in 1 Timothy 3:1–7. The problem with this is that in the original Greek of 1 Timothy 3:1–7, there are no masculine pronouns. In English translations of 1 Timothy 3:1–7, pronouns are added for the purposes of sentence structure. Why do Bible translators typically use masculine pronouns in 1 Timothy 3:1–7? Because there is one primary masculine noun, man, in verse 2, and it is modified by several masculine adjectives and participles in verses 2–7. In the original Greek text, the phrase husband of one wife or, more accurately, one-woman man is the only explicit reference to gender in 1 Timothy 3:1–7.