Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and what are its ministries?
Mbaga parish jubilee celebration
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation
, is made up of over 2.5 million people in 20 dioceses, approximately 6.5% of the population of Tanzania.
The ELCT organizes its ministry into four categories: finance and administration, mission and evangelism, social service and women’s work, planning and development. In the area of finance and administration, the ministry includes investments, scholarships, and personnel. Mission and evangelism includes outreach both within Tanzania and abroad, as well as youth ministries. Social service and women’s work includes health care, education, and women’s programs. Planning and development consists of economic development projects, disaster relief and readiness, financial co-ops, and advocacy.
Due to the rapid growth of the ELCT, it emphasizes leadership development by providing educational opportunities. The Tumaini University System now has six branches with more then 9,000 students. It offers degrees in theology, ministry, education, special needs education, business, law, medicine, mathematics, and music to name a few. The Tumaini University system develops leaders not only for the ELCT but also for the nation. Makumira University College
, one of Tumaini’s branches, includes the largest Lutheran seminary in Africa. It serves Tanzania and surrounding countries.
The Dioceses of the ELCT own and operate an extensive health care system including 21 hospitals and numerous dispensaries. ELCT provides more than 15% of the health care services delivered in Tanzania. In addition to medical and surgical services, the ELCT is in the forefront of HIV/AIDS education and prevention, the treatment and prevention of malaria, and hospice and palliative care.
The ELCT and her dioceses own and operate 47 secondary schools throughout the country, as well as schools for the deaf, special needs, teachers’ and nurses’ training, vocational training, and Bible schools. These schools have a long history of providing quality education and attracting qualified students.How do the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
The Lutheran Center in Arusha, Tanzania
A central place in Arusha Town is the Clock Tower Roundabout. The Lutheran Center is less than a city block from the tower.
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the ELCT. That relationship is deepened and extended by the relationships, through the ELCA Companion Synods program, between these ELCT and ELCA synods:
- Arusha Diocese and Northern Illinois Synod
- Central Diocese and Southeastern Minnesota Synod
- Dodoma Diocese and Northwestern Ohio Synod
- Eastern & Coastal Diocese and Northern Great Lakes Synod
- East Lake Victoria Diocese and Southern Ohio Synod
- Iringa Diocese and Saint Paul Area Synod
- Karagwe Diocese and Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod
- Konde Diocese and Lower Susquehanna Synod
- Mara Diocese and Delaware-Maryland Synod
- Mbulu Diocese and Southeast Michigan Synod
- Meru Diocese and Greater Milwaukee Synod
- Morogoro Diocese and Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod
- North Eastern Diocese and Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
- Northern Diocese and Nebraska Synod
- North West Diocese and Metropolitan New York Synod
- Pare Diocese and Southeastern Iowa Synod
- Southern Diocese and Western Iowa Synod
- South Central Diocese and Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod
- Ulanga Kilombero and Eastern Washington–Idaho Synod
- Southwest Diocese and South Carolina Synod
through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the ELCT through project funding and personnel who work with the ELCT’s numerous ministries. The ELCA helps support, directly and indirectly, 22 ELCT church hospitals, which provide about 15 percent of all healthcare in Tanzania. A recent emphasis has been introducing palliative (hospice) care services in the hospitals. ELCA financial resources have also helped the ELCT develop some very large income-generating projects, including a church-owned hotel and businesses. ELCA personnel serve the ELCT in areas such as elementary, secondary and higher education, health and health education, agriculture and development, and outreach and evangelism.
The relationship between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania and the ELCA is deepened and extended by relationships, through the ELCA Companion Synods program, between ELCT dioceses and ELCA synods. These companion relationships provide mutual exchanges to build friendship, encourage and support each other’s ministries, and deepen understanding across the world. Many development projects also occur within these ELCA/ELCT companionships, such as scholarships for secondary school and university, water wells, building and completing churches, supporting hospitals and dispensaries, and income generation projects.
The ELCA also funds significant work through the Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief and Church World Services.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global communion of 140 churches (including the ELCA) and 68 million people that is grounded in a common Lutheran faith. The LWF provides space for Lutherans from around the world to share joys, challenges and expertise as they seek the healing of the world. ELCA World Hunger funds help to support the Department for World Service (DWS), the LWF's relief and development arm, and the Department for Mission and Development (DMD), which focuses on holistic ministries through which the church participates in God's mission to all creation.
ELCA World Hunger funds help support the LWF Department for Mission and Development in Tanzania through work such as:
- The Diary Cattle Program
- Leadership Programs combating HIV/AIDS
- Accompaniment and Empowerment Programs
ELCA also relates to the LWF Associate Program in Tanzania ; Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (TCRS) which emphases:
- Community Empowerment
- Disaster Relief
- Refugees Programs
- Organizational Development
The ELCA also works in Tanzania through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). A ministry of the ELCA, LWR is a U.S.-based agency that works with community-based partners in 50 countries. ELCA World Hunger funds help support the work that focuses on:
Tanzania: the context in which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania serves
- Helping women and girls improve their livelihoods by increasing their economic independence and decision-making power through training in vocational skills and business management;
- Increasing farmer income through promotion of market-appropriate cash crops;
- Improving farmers’ access to water for agricultural use, including horticulture and dairy farming.
- Building the capacity of village-based community multi-sectoral AIDS committees (CMACs) with training in financial management and skills to compete effectively for government funding for HIV/AIDS programs.
Organizing Household Goods for the Vulnerable Children Project
Tanzania has enjoyed four decades of peace and political stability since it gained its independence from Great Britain. Tanganyika achieved independence on December 9, 1961; in 1964, it united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania on April 26, 1964. Tanzania’s 37.1 million people speak Kiswahili, Swahili, and English, along with Arabic and numerous other local languages. About thirty percent are Christian, thirty percent are Muslim, and thirty five percent practice indigenous beliefs. Tanzania’s capital is Dar es Salaam, and it is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest point in Africa), Lake Victoria (the second largest lake in the world), and the Great Rift Valley.
For decades, Tanzania has been either at or near the top of the list of African nations in per capita receipt of international aid. Its principal cash crops of coffee, cotton, sisal and tobacco have been affected by instability in world market demand and rising costs of imported fuel, fertilizers, and equipment. HIV/AIDS, with 1.3 million cases in Tanzania, represents a serious health concern. With 1 physician per 20,511 people, life expectancy is 51 years for men and 53 for women. Outside donations have helped fund much of the progress made in human services.
For up-to-date information on Tanzania, type “Tanzania” into an online search engine or visit: