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Woman-of-the-Year Awards

Recognizing the Contributions of Adventist Women



The Woman-of-the-Year Awards were first presented in 1984, the Women of Mission conference, at Andrews University.


Purpose of the awards:


Woman-of-the-Year Awards were established to recognize the contributions of women in the church, the community, and the world at large, and to encourage all women who are seeking to fulfill God's best intentions in their lives and communities.


Considerations in choosing awardees:


To be considered for any award the candidate shall:

  • Be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

  • Be a role model for SDA women.

  • Have a commitment to improving the status of women in the Church.

  • Demonstrate resilience in coping with stress, change, and in overcoming barriers to success.

The judges view favorably women leaders who have blazed trails, taken risks, broken barriers, and innovated to implement positive change.


Of special interest are women whose actions have brought justice or relief from injustice to a large class of people, those who have displayed exceptional stamina, strength of character, consistency, conviction, courage, and compassion, and those whose distinguished achievements inspire higher aspirations and greater hope in others and bring special credibility to the church.


Diversity of candidates will be sought and considered. Diversity includes attention to selecting a group of awardees who represent various ethnic backgrounds, a variety of careers and life pathways, a recognition of women in traditional and non-traditional roles, and those from various age groups.

1. Community Life Award

  • Major contributions to community life, resulting in innovative programs that improve the life of the community.

  • Outstanding leadership in volunteer activities.

  • Memberships and offices held in community organizations, committees, and boards.

2. Church Life Award

  • Major contributions affecting and improving the church’s life at the conference level and higher administrative levels.

  • Courageous in moving the church toward inclusiveness, fairness, and justice, and in being a role model and mentor for other women.

  • Outstanding leadership skills resulting in innovative programs and activities that improve the quality of spiritual and communal life in the church.

  • Effective communication skills in the conference, union, and division committees and/or in Adventist educational institutions or medical centers.

  • Exemplary dedication and service to the church in challenging circumstances.


3. Family Life Award

  • Outstanding leadership skills through writing and speaking that result in innovative programs that improve the quality of family life in the church.

  • Implementing creative programs in homemaking and school management.

  • Nurture, care, and support of individuals in her own and other families.


4. Professional Life Award

  • Significant contributions to professional life resulting in innovative programs.

  • Demonstrated leadership in professional activities, including membership and holding offices in professional organizations, committees, and boards.

  • Unique contributions to church activities from within her profession.


5. Youth Life Award

  • Demonstrated expertise or achievement which has made a significant difference in the lives of young persons within organizations or institutions.

  • Unusual contributions to career, church, or community in a variety of settings.

  • Promise of continuing leadership abilities.

  • Demonstrated ability to draw others into participatory roles in the church and community.


6. Spiritual Leadership

  • Experience and training in theology and ministry as a pastor, chaplain, pastoral counselor, evangelist or religion teacher.

  • Demonstrated unique ability to encourage, counsel, and mentor parishioners, patients, students, and peers.

  • Courage, creativity, and persistence in pursuing God’s calling to ministry.

  • Recognized for her spiritual commitment to God, communication skills, leadership ability and/or scholarly insights by her peers.


7. Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Widely recognized for long-term contributions to the church and community.

  • Many demonstrated interests, abilities, and achievements.

  • Being a consistent role model and mentor to many other women, both in the church and community.


8. Outstanding Achievement Award

  • Outstanding contributions to her profession, vocations, church, and/or community.

  • Unusual achievements despite difficult obstacles and/or prejudice.

  • Wide influence that extends beyond a local setting to a state, regional, or national level.

  • Accomplishments are marked by creativity, persistence, and a vision to make a difference in the world.

  • Mentors other women and encourages them to succeed.


9. Distinguished Service Award

  • Longstanding contributor to the organization of the Association of Adventist Women and related causes.

  • Fosters growth of AAW through innovation; increases AAW’s scope of influence.

  • Provides consistent voice for equality and opportunity for Adventist women—has a long track record.

  • Provides vital leadership for policy change in the SDA church.

Champion of Justice Award

This award is given to Adventist men who have made exceptional contributions to the Adventist Church through their support for improving the status of women in the church and promoting women's training, employment and equal compensation.

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