History of Renk Diocese



  • The Diocese of Renk was officially formed as a missionary diocese of the Episcopal Church of Sudan in August of 1995 by Bishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak.
  • Its first Episcopal priest, The Rev. Canon Jacob Ajak Deng, found approximately 30-40 Christians in Renk Town with only 10 or so actually gathering for worship.


  • In 1996, Bishop Daniel Deng Bul received a scholarship for studies at Virginia Theological Seminary.  Following his graduation in 1997, he invited the first team of visitors from the U.S. to travel to Renk Diocese, from which partnerships with the Diocese of Virginia and the Diocese of Chicago in the United States grew.


  • Fr. Joseph Garang Atem Zorial began his studies at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in the United States, graduating in 2000 with a Master of Theological Studies degree.  He returned to Renk Diocese as Principal of Renk Bible School, raising it to the level of Renk Theological College, one of five official seminaries of the ECS.


  • A Companion Diocese Relationship between the Diocese of Renk and the Diocese of Chicago was formed in 2003.


  • The newly rebuilt Renk Theological College opened its doors in April of 2005 with support from St. Michael’s Church in the Diocese of Chicago.
  • In support of theological education at Renk Theological College, the Visiting Teachers Program was founded.  Teams of visiting teachers began semi-annual, three-week sessions in January 2005.  Advanced students and faculty from Duke, Virginia Theological Seminary, and other affiliated institutions have taught Biblical Languages in Renk.


  • The Diocese of Virginia supported the building of St. Matthew Cathedral, dedicated in 2007 by Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.


  • Election of the second Bishop of Renk, as Bishop Daniel was called to serve as Archbishop of the ECS and Bishop of Juba.


  • South Sudan becomes a new nation in July 2011.  Reflecting this change, the Episcopal Church of Sudan becomes the Episcopal Church of South Sudan & Sudan.


  • There are more than 20,000 members in four Archdeaconries in the Diocese of Renk.  The diocese serves God and God’s people through education, clinics, economic and agricultural development, and humanitarian relief.  The Diocese of Renk is committed to building God’s Kingdom through Peace & Reconciliation.