A Course in Christian Discipleship for Africa


Masai pastors



















St Pauls






arusha 2013










Manyoni 2019

Manyoni 2019







Rooted in Jesus was first designed for, and pioneered in, Tanzania. Rooted in Jesus is overseen within Tanzania by Bishop Stanley Hotay. The Rooted in Jesus office is in Arusha, where Catherine Mwega is the Administrator.

Every couple of years the Coordinators come together for an National Coordinator Conference at which news is shared and future plans discussed. The first took place in December 2013. The most recent was held in November 2019.

Rooted in Jesus has now been introduced to 20 of the 28 dioceses which make up the Province of Tanzania.


Diocese of Mt Kilimanjaro (from 2002)

Rooted in Jesus was created in 2002 at the request of Stanley Hotay, then Diocesan Missioner and Director of the Jesus Film programme in Tanzania. It was translated into Swahili and Maasai, and introduced through 3 training conferences for clergy and evangelists. Rooted in Jesus got off to a cautious start but gradually took off throughout the diocese.

By October 2007 many of the groups had completed the course, and a new generation of leaders was trained, many of whom are women, all of whom are lay. In the first round there were eventually over 3,500 people belonging to about 350 groups across the diocese. The groups in the Kiteto region completed the course in 2007, and 330 new groups were formed. In 2009 the diocese divided into two, with the Kiteto deaneries forming the new Diocese of Kiteto.

In October 2012 the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro held a further conference, attended by 180 pastors and evangelists, with the aim of establishing Rooted in Jesus as the primary tool for discipleship and churchplanting within the diocese. Rooted in Jesus is also the primary preparation material for confirmation candidates across the diocese.

In May 2013 the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro hosted its first Rooted in Jesus Junior conference for 127 Sunday School teachers. By October 2013 it was estimated that some 2000 children had joined Rooted in Jesus Junior groups across the diocese.

Rooted in Jesus has continued in regular use across the diocese. An ambitious programme of church planting has seen 420 new churches planted between 2012 and 2021, with many of these in Masai-speaking areas. The Masai translation of Rooted in Jesus is being revised and reprinted, and in April 2021 50 new Masai pastors were trained to lead groups in the new church plants.

Diocese of Kiteto (from 2002)

In July 2009 the Diocese of Kiteto was formed from the southern part of the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro. In 2010 the Diocesan Council agreed that:

  1. Rooted in Jesus will work under the office of Mission, Evangelism and stewardship
  2. The 7 Rural Deans will be responsible for supporting and supervising the groups in their deaneries
  3. Rooted in Jesus will be used with all children from ages 10-12 as their catechismal preparation.
  4. Rooted in Jesus becomes a condition and a qualification for any one who becomes a group leader such as MU and YOUTH.
  5. Rooted in Jesus becomes a standard for the Bible knowledge of all workers in the diocesan offices, as a way of building their spiritual maturity, challenging their call to ministry and inspiring them to grow in their discipleship.
  6. Regular seminars and conferences will be planned by the coordinator in cooperation with the rural deans and the bishop.

In August 2011 the Rural Deans met to review progress. There were 385 second generation groups, and the plan was for 300 of those who had completed the course to be trained to launch new groups. The expectation was that about half of the 20,000 Anglicans in the diocese would have had the experience of belonging to a Rooted in Jesus group.

In October 2012 a further team spent a week in Kibaya. 68 pastors and 20 pastors' wives attended the conference. Many of these pastors said that they had begun their Christian lives as lay members of Rooted in Jesus groups, and had been inspired to train first as evangelists and then as clergy by what they had learned.

In 2017 Rooted in Jesus was in use in 61 of the 74 parishes, and the diocese planned to continue planting new groups.

Rooted in Jesus Junior. Also in 2012 the Diocese hosted a RinJ Junior conference for 83 Sunday School teachers. The team was delighted at the overwhelmingly positive response to the conference. 35 Junior groups had been established by November 2013.

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Dioceses of Masasi and Newala (from 2009)

The Diocese of Masasi is the southernmost diocese in Tanzania, right on the border with Niassa in Mozambique. In 2009 the diocese divided into two, to form Masasi and Newala dioceses. Rooted in Jesus was introduced in August 2009, just before the dioceses divided, by a team with members from both the UK and the Diocese of Kiteto.

The initial RinJ conferences were attended by 53 clergy and 58 catechists during the second. Follow-up conferences in November 2010 were attended by 54 clergy and catechists in Masasi, and 44 clergy and catechists in Newala; these included both existing group leaders and new ones.

By March 2011 130 groups were active, with over 1000 members. The coordinator reported that "37 group members have been baptised, many are able to testify to the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, Sunday attendance and giving is increasing and prayer growing in the churches."

A further Rooted in Jesus conference was held in September 2016.

In 2010 the Diocese of Masasi became one of the first places to host pilot training for Sunday School teachers with the new Rooted in Jesus Junior programme. In November 2010 Canon James Almasi and Revd Carlos Marcus, priests in the two pilot parishes, reported: “Rooted in Jesus Junior has transformed our work with children; it is changing our church; teachers and children are enthusiastic for Jesus; it has given us a curriculum”. A further conference was held in July 2011.

In July 2015 a followup conference for RinJ Junior was held in Masasi, attended by 44 leaders from the diocese, plus 3 from neighbouring Newala and 14 from Mpwapwa.

Diocese of Mara (from 2011)

Rooted in Jesus was introduced in March 2011 by a team from the UK, South Africa and Tanzania. Two 4 day conferences were held in the cathedral at Musoma, attended by pastors and lay leaders from each of the 20 deaneries of the diocese. Local coordinators were elected for each deanery. About 100 people were trained in all, and each group leader who did not possess a Bible was given one. The groups are ably supported by national coordinator Canon Jacob Robert, and the programme is known locally as 'The Family of One Heart and One Mind in Rooted in Jesus'.

In March 2012 a team from South Africa returned to lead two further conferences, one for new leaders and one for existing leaders. Jacob wrote, "These groups help the church to grow as never been in the History of the Church here in the Diocese of Mara; many people have been receiving the Gospel everywhere in our Diocese." The Diocese now runs regular archdeaconry conferences for group leaders.

In June 2013 the diocese hosted a 4 day Rooted in Jesus Junior training conference for 84 Sunday School teachers from across the diocese. Canon Jacob commented: "The conference has succeeded like I have never seen before, and the passion of attendees is very big. I saw the Holy Spirit moving in the way people were talking and rebelling against the past showing that we were doing nothing for children; now we have something to do for children. This conference has strengthened me too." 

By November 2013 there were 81 active RinJ groups in the diocese and 71 Junior groups.

In July 2015 the diocese hosted two further training conferences for Mothers Union leaders and Sunday School teachers. 91 people attended the conferences.

In August 2017 Jacob Robert reported that there are groups in every parish, many of which have completed all four books of the course; and RinJ Junior is strong in the Sunday Schools too. It is diocesan policy to use RinJ whenever they start a new church, and Jacob reports that the result is rapid maturity – in a very short space of time it no longer seems like a new church. He also confirms that many of the churches in Mara are now led by graduates of RinJ groups - Rooted in Jesus has provided a unique and sustained impetus for growth within the diocese.

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Diocese of Morogoro (from 2011)

Rooted in Jesus was launched in the diocese in May 2011 by a team from the UK and Tanzania. 147 leaders (84 pastors and 33 catechists) attended the two 4 day conferences, and in July the diocese was able to report that 1,332 people were involved in 104 Rooted in Jesus groups across the diocese. Bishop Godfrey said: “This is the most joyous day in our Diocese; an important day. I didn’t think this Conference would bring such blessing. For me it has been much more of a blessing than I expected and the seminars have been such a blessing to me through the power of the Holy Spirit. This Conference will have a big impact on the Diocese”.

A followup conference was held in October 2012, with 70 participants. Some groups had been going well, others had struggled due to a failed harvest and other constraints. Testimonies were shared, support and encouragement was provided to group leaders and to Himily, and some new leaders were trained.

In June 2012 the Diocese hosted a regional Rooted in Jesus Junior conference for representatives from 5 dioceses, all already using Rooted in Jesus. Translator Revd Godson Madihi said afterwards, "now I am a new person who wants children to be given room to perform or practise their gifts in the church and before the Lord. Please let us change our attitudes (to children) for the glory of the Lord." Godson was appointed as the diocesan Junior coordinator. At Easter 2015 he held a RinJ Junior day at the cathedral, attended by over 1200 children and their parents.

Diocese of Mpwapwa (from 2011)

Rooted in Jesus was introduced by the diocese in May 2011 by a team from the UK and Tanzania. Conferences were held in Kibaiwa and Kibakwe, attended by 190 leaders. There was a wide spread of participants - pastors, evangelists, Mothers Union leaders, youth workers and office staff, with the aim that the programme should impact the whole of diocesan life. At the end of each seminar the Bishop asked for a solemn commitment for any coming forward for the certificate and books that they would start a group within 10 days - as he and his wife intended to do.

Bishop Jacob writes: “It was a real blessing for us to have the Rooted in Jesus Seminars in our Diocese. We believe that the RinJ course came at the right time of our ministry. Thank you very much for your encouragement and financial support for the seminars. We look forward to the implementation of the materials in or churches.”

In September 2013 a team led by Fr James Almasi led a followup conference for the adult programme in Kibwaiga. 30 existing and 130 new leaders were trained. 100 new groups are now planned, in addition to the 96 established groups.

By November 2013 there were 116 RinJ groups across the diocese; RinJ had also been included in the syllabus of the Bible College at Kasulu.

In June 2013 twelve representatives from Mpwapwa attended the regional Rooted in Jesus Junior training conference in Morogoro. By July 2015 there were Junior groups in every deanery, with 600 children attending 57 groups led by 12 leaders and 12 assistant leaders. A further 14 people attended the training conference in Masasi in July 2015; these people are to be appointed as additional deanery coordinators.

In August 2017 coordinator Dunstan Mtoro reported that there are now nearly 3000 people involved i the programme, with 147 adult and 123 Junior groups across the diocese.

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Diocese of Southern Highlands (from 2012)

In September 2012 the Diocese of Southern Highlands hosted its first Rooted in Jesus conference, for 68 clergy and lay leaders. A followup conference attended by 69 leaders was held in Mbeya in May 2014.

Diocese of Shinyanga (from 2013)

The newly formed Diocese of Shinyanga adopted Rooted in Jesus in 2013, with a conference for 67 clergy and lay leaders. A followup conference was held in August 2014, attended by 39 participants.

Diocese of Western Tanganyika (from 2013)

In May 2013 a joint UK-Tanzanian team introduced Rooted in Jesus to a pilot conference for the 32 rural deans of this large diocese. Coordinator Meshack Manyanyika conducted further training within parishes in 2015, reporting that "new groups have initialised and most of the group members have found RinJ teachings helpful as they added another step in faith." By 2017 Meshack reported that 24 groups were active across the diocese.

Diocese of Kibondo (from 2013)

In June 2013 a team from the Diocese of Masasi ran a four day introductory conference for 93 clergy, evangelists, deacons and lay leaders in this small diocese. Bishop Sospeter wrote afterwards that “the seminar was so good, and rich. The pastors and all delegates were so pleased, encouraged, strengthened, and renewed." By November there were 13 groups running in 8 parishes.

In July 2014 a followup conference was held. Some of the groups had made a slow start, but there were many positive testimonies, and Bishop Sospeter is committed to RinJ as a key element of diocesan life; 'We have new believers through Rooted in Jesus. We really thank God for the new lives and all who are doing the good work for him."

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Diocese of Tabora (from 2013)

The Diocese of Tabora hosted its first Rooted in Jesus conference in June 2013. The conference was attended by 83 pastors and evangelists, and Bishop Elias wrote in July to say that the groups had already started. By November 8 groups had started - particularly encouraging in an area in which the majority of people are Muslims.

In March 2014 the first groups completed book 1, and by 2015 there were 35 active groups. Diocesan coordinator Amon wrote : "When a first born is born it is a great pleasure - sometimes you won't believe is that true the first has come? As we the diocesan leaders saw such great class get finished their first book, it was an unbelievable moment". Parish coordinators have now been appointed and further groups are planned.

Diocese of Zanzibar (from 2013)

In June 2013 a UK team travelled to Zanzibar to work with 14 priests and lay leaders. Zanzibar is a small diocese and a challenging place to be a Christian. The team was warmly welcomed and enthusiasm for discipleship grew during the time they were there.

Diocese of Lake Rukwa (from 2014)

The Diocese of Lake Rukwa hosted a Rooted in Jesus training conference in May 2014 for the pastors, evangelists and diocesan staff - 49 people in all. Formed in 2010 from the Diocese of W Tanganyika, the Diocese of Lake Rukwa lies in the SW of Tanzania, covering an area of 75240 square km, with an estimated population of around 2 million people. Bishop Mathayo wrote: "This area is still a mission area, Christianity is not strong; the number of Christians is very low, especially for Evangelical Churches. But even though the area is big and the population is high, we still have 24 Parishes, and about 3000 Anglican Church members."

The 49 participants travelled from far and wide. The conference leader reported: "The whole assessment of the reception of the conference was very very positive. The bishop with his clergies received us and the course with humility, humble and great thanks for the course to reach them. On the day of awarding the certificates, Bishop Matthew told the participants that, everything is there for them to serve in a simple way and that he is hoping that the gospel will be preached and be taught through the course -and that anyone who will not be able to begin the groups for the course, better to return his ordination certificate!!"

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Diocese of Rorya (from 2014)

Rorya is a new diocese in the far north-east of Tanzania, formerly part of the Diocese of Mara. It held its first Rooted in Jesus training conference in July 2014. 49 people were commissioned to lead groups.

The diocese is embarking on an ambitious plan of church planting and discipleship under Bishop Yamo, elected in 2021. To support this vision a further conference was held in June 2022, attended by 33 pastors and 31 evangelists.

Diocese of Victoria Nyanza (from 2014)

Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza in August 2014. The training conference was attended by 47 people. This is a diocese which has been experiencing disharmony, but team leader Jacob Robert reported afterwards that "despite all conflicts in the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza, yet there is a seed of love of God that was planted during the conference which will grow among them and overcome their differences."

A followup conference was held in August 2015 and the programme was relaunched in September 2021, following the appointment of Bishop Zephaniah Ntunza. The 55 pastors of the diocese came together with Bishop Zephaniah for the first time, and the conference was faciliated by a team from the Dioceses of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mara.

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St Philip's Theological College, Kongwa (from 2014)

In November 2014 John Madinda, Principal of St Philip's Theological college decided to introduce Rooted in Jesus to the college students as part of their training to become pastors or evangelists. 48 students attended the four day conference led by a UK/Tanzanian team, with the plan that they would form groups in their placement parishes.

Diocese of Lweru (from 2015)

The first RinJ conference in this diocese took place in August 2015. The conference was attended by 120 people from across the diocese. Following the retirement of the bishop there was an interruption to the programme, but regional coordinator Jacob Robert reported in August 2017 that groups were again doing well; "Testimonies that the group members have been giving are assurance that the program has got a place in the minds of Christians. They are still progressing with planting RinJ groups around the Diocese."

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Diocese of South West Tanganyika (from 2016)

RinJ was introduced to the Diocese in September 2016 by a team from the link diocese of Hereford and from Tanzania. 117 participants completed the training. By 2017 there were groups in all of the 40 parishes in the diocese, led by the evangelists.

Diocese of the Rift Valley (from 2019)

In February 2019 Bishop John Lupaa invited a Rooted in Jesus team to come to Manyoni, in central Tanzania, to lead a conference for 235 pastors, catechists, Bible College students and Mothers Union representatives. A new Rooted in Jesus department was created in the Diocese, and Bishop John hopes to see a group planted in most of the 267 churches in the diocese; and anticipates that the increased focus on evangelism and discipleship will support the diocesan vision for growth. RinJ will also be used at St John's school and seminary; staff member Stephen Hatch writes: "we are about to split the whole school into small groups who will use this method; we will also use the method in our regular Bible study sessions with other staff."

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Diocese of Kondoa (from 2019)

The Diocese of Kondoa hosted its first Rooted in Jesus conference in November 2019, at the invitation of Bishop Given Gaula. 90% of the population in this very rural diocese are Muslim and it is hoped that Rooted in Jesus will both build faith among the Christians and also serve as a tool to share it with others. 126 people were commissioned to lead groups, and the programme was launched across the diocese at the end of November. The programme will be overseen by Canon Lameck Masambi.

Diocese of Biharamulo (from 2021)

The Diocese of Bihamarulo was formed in 2017, and in August 2021 Bishop Vithalis invited a team to introduce Rooted in Jesus for the first time. The conference was attended by the 30 pastors and 105 evangelists of the diocese, along with Mothers Union representatives, Youth leaders and diocesan staff. It was facilitated by a team from the Dioceses of Mara, Mount Kilimanjaro and Victoria Nyanza.

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