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Missionary Training Center
Each week, hundreds of families around the world bid farewell to their sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, as they embark on an 18-month (females) to 24-month (males) journey as Mormon missionaries, fulfilling the Great Commission of taking the Gospel to all the world. Because the daily life of a missionary is demanding—a life that is devoted entirely to teaching others about Jesus Christ and serving the needy—the first stop on the journey for each new missionary is at one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 15 Missionary Training Centers (often called MTCs). They will spend anywhere from two weeks (for those not learning a foreign language) to nine weeks in training before departing to serve in one of the Church’s 421 missions (number of missions as of December 31, 2016).
Mormon missionaries generally arrive at an MTC with a basic, foundational knowledge of religion and the scriptures gained from the years of instruction that they receive both at home and at Church. Many Mormon families have daily prayer and scripture study together. Mormon youth also attend weekly [high school] and [college] religion courses offered by the Church. And the family generally attends Church together on Sundays for three hours of additional religious instruction.
The Origin of the Missionary Training Center
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints originally started the Missionary Training Center to provide language training and to provide a place for missionaries to be housed until difficulties in obtaining passports and visas to their assigned areas could be resolved.
The MTC was originally called the "Language Training Mission." The name was later changed in the 1970s to the "Missionary Training Center." The name was changed to note that it was for more than just language training, although language training would continue to be an important part of the facility's function.
Preparing Missionaries to Teach the Gospel
From the moment they arrive, the new missionaries are never alone; they are assigned a "companion" who is going to the same mission and will be with them always while at the MTC. The missionaries are not allowed to phone home, text, chat with friends on the Internet, watch TV or non-Mormon videos, read a novel or a newspaper, listen to popular music, or go on dates.
The rigorous course of study at the MTC is rooted in gospel fundamentals. While at the MTC, missionaries engage in daily practice teaching situations and intense gospel classroom instruction from teachers who are themselves returned missionaries. They also attend weekly devotional addresses from Church leaders and MTC staff and perform weekly service opportunities. Missionaries are encouraged to actively study the Church's doctrine to receive inspiration on how best to teach and help others.
The Provo MTC, the largest Missionary Training Center campus of the Church, teaches more than 55 languages. It ranks second among the nation’s largest on-site language schools, behind only the U.S. Defense Department’s Language Institute in Monterey, California. Each language instructor is either a native speaker or is fluent thanks to his or her own missionary service. In addition to language instruction, teachers provide cultural training—the use of proper manners and non-confrontational behaviors—to help missionaries make a smoother transition into their assigned foreign country.
For many of these 18- and 19-year-old men and women, this is their first experience of living away from home, so they also learn some of the basic, necessary skills needed to live on their own. They do their own laundry, exercise daily, eat nutritious meals provided by each MTC cafeteria, and stay in touch with family and friends via weekly emails.
Regardless of the MTC attended, all missionaries are given the chance to further learn the doctrines of Jesus Christ and to develop and strengthen Christlike attributes. Missionaries learn to teach principles with clarity and to help others have faith in Christ, repent, be baptized in Christ's name, receive the Holy Spirit, and continue in the ways of the Savior.
Missionary Training Centers Worldwide
In addition to its flagship Provo Missionary Training Center in Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently operates 14 international MTCs worldwide (previous MTCs in Tokyo and Seoul, Korea, have since been closed).
The Provo MTC completed an expansion project in June 2017 that resulted in 200 new missionary classrooms, large meeting spaces, 300-plus stalls in underground parking, open views from classrooms, and artwork and messaging throughout the two new six-story buildings and along the outdoor walkways for the expansive outdoor spaces. It has the capacity for 3,700 missionaries.
The new Ghana Missionary Training Center was completed in August 2017. Built next to the temple grounds in Accra, the new facility replaced the original MTC built in 2002.
|Buenos Aires, Argentina||Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay||Spanish|
|São Paulo, Brazil||Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola||Portuguese|
|Bogota, Colombia||Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela||Spanish|
|Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic||Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, West Indies||English (native speakers only), French/Creole (native speakers only), Spanish|
|Preston, England||Great Britain, German-speaking Europe||German, English|
|Accra, Ghana||West Africa, DR Congo, Madagascar||English (native speakers only), French|
|Guatemala City, Guatemala||Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama||Spanish|
|Mexico City, Mexico||Mexico, other countries in North, Central and South America||Spanish|
|Auckland, New Zealand||Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga||English, English as a Second Language, French (native speakers only), Samoan (native speakers only), Tongan (native speakers only)|
|Lima, Peru||Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru||Spanish|
|Manila, Philippines||All missions in the Philippines and Asia areas||Cambodian, Cebuano, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Mongolian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese (all languages except Tagalog native speakers only)|
|Johannesburg, South Africa||Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe||English (native speakers only)|
|Madrid, Spain||Belgium, Cape Verde, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine||Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Russian (all languages except Spanish and Russian native speakers only)|
|Provo, Utah, United States||Worldwide||50 different languages|
Two Missionary Training Centers to Close
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced it will close two missionary training centers. The training centers in Santiago, Chile, and Madrid, Spain, will close in January 2019. This decision comes as Church leaders continue to seek the best use of resources worldwide, according to the needs and demands of each area.
Following the closures, missionaries who would have attended either of these centers will be trained at one of the remaining 13 missionary training centers around the world.
Both the Chile and Spain training centers are in Church-owned buildings that also serve other Church functions, such as temple patron housing. The Church will decide the best use of this space in the future.
News Source: Two Missionary Training Centers to Close
- The Provo MTC website
- The Missionary Training Center in Accra, Ghana
- Preparation With Purpose: Life in a Mormon Missionary Training Center
- Mission Presidents Leave Home Behind to Serve Throughout the World
- The Mormon Missionary Program