PROVO, Utah — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Wednesday that the Missionary Training Center (MTC) located in Provo reopened for in-person training with limited capacity.
The MTC has been closed for in-person training for the past 15 months due to the pandemic. Missionaries have received instruction virtually during the closure.
Sister Kerry Porter, who is serving as a companion to President Benson L. Porter, president of the Provo MTC said in a press release, “It's wonderful to see missionaries with such faith, and that they can be here. And it's such a historic time. To be able to utilize this sacred space and be able to really charge themselves before they head out to teach and serve,” she said.
On Wednesday, 248 missionaries arrived at the MTC. Similar sized groups are scheduled to arrive every Wednesday in the coming weeks. Missionaries will spend two weeks training at the center before traveling to their area of assignment.
In addition to the two weeks of in-person training, The Church has introduced a new piece of missionary training that allows individuals to participate in a week of online instruction at home before heading to the MTC.
Not all missionaries are eligible to receive in-person training. In-person language training will not be available immediately, but invitations to train in-person will be extended as conditions improve.
“This is a huge day for us to have missionaries at the MTC again, but this isn't just us going back to how things used to be. This is us moving forward,” said Kelly Mills, the Missionary Department’s administrative director of MTCs in a press release.
COVID-19 tests will be administered to any missionary who exhibits symptoms of the virus during their time at the MTC. Only missionaries who are fully vaccinated will be eligible to train in-person, "as a temporary precaution," the release states.
MTC locations outside the United States will also begin in-person training. The center's will only be available for about 50 local missionaries at each location. The Ghana MTC and New Zealand MTC are expected to open in the coming weeks, while MTCs in the Philippines, Mexico and England are expected to reopen with limited capacity by August.
About 32,000 missionaries have received online training since March of 2019. Currently, 2,766 missionaries are involved in online MTC training, according to the release.