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Missionary Age Requirements

Summary: This article discusses the age qualifications for serving a full-time Mormon mission for young men, young women, senior couples, and Church service missionaries.

missionary family on stairsYoung Men

Single men between the ages of 18 and 25 are eligible to serve a full-time mission for the LDS Church. These young men are generally called to serve for 24 months. Once single men reach the age of 26, the Church will no longer consider their application to be called as a missionary.

Young men and women should also be worthy and prepared to serve a mission. For more information, see my article on what it means to be worthy to serve a mission and my other article on requirements to serve a mission.

Women

Single women are eligible to serve a mission if they are 19 years old or older. The eligibility age difference between the young men and the women is to emphasize that full-time missionary work is a priesthood duty of the men, while women are not under that same obligation. Though not a duty in the same sense as it is for men, women make a valuable and unique contribution in the mission field, and the Lord needs and welcomes their service.

Single women between the ages 21 through 39 are usually called to serve for 18 months.  Single women over the age of 40 are usually called on non-proselyting missions (temple missions, welfare missions, office support, family history, etc.) and serve for 12 or 18 months. For more information, see the sister missionary page which has links to many sister missionary related topics including advice for young women considering a mission, and an article from former sister missionaries explaining what made them decide to serve.

Couples

There is no specific age requirement for older couples to serve a mission together. In order for married couples to be eligible to serve a mission, they must no longer be be working full-time and, if they will be serving away from home, they must not have any dependent children living in their home. Senior couples can be called to serve for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months depending on their capabilities and the mission they are called to fulfill.

Church-Service Missionaries

Church-service missions are a good alternative when worthy men and women are not able to serve full-time missions because of health, financial, family, or other challenges.  There is no maximum age, but men should be at least 18 years old, and women should be at least 19 to be a Church-service missionary. Church-service missionaries can be called for a term of anywhere from 6 to 24 months. They usually work between 8 and 32 hours a week and live at home while they are serving.

Mission Prep Webinar Series Announced

After much consideration, I have decided to hold a series of Mission Prep webinars starting in January 2013. The webinars will basically be online classes, firesides, or devotionals. My hope is that the webinars will be informative and practical for mission prep, and also spiritual and motivating to help young people have a desire to serve.

Each webinar will be about an hour and we will cover a variety of Mormon missionary preparation topics both temporal and spiritual. There will also be time in each webinar to ask questions and get answers. The series will consist of three webinars: Preparing to Serve a Mission, Receiving the Call to Serve a Mission, and Gearing Up to Serve a Mission.

  • Gaining a Desire to Serve a Mission: In this webinar, we will discuss getting Young Men motivated to serve, the worth of souls in the sight of God, why the Church needs many more missionaries, and the blessings of missionary service.
  • Preparing to Serve a Mission: This webinar will discuss requirements to serve a mission, worthiness, the mission cost, and other items around temporal and spiritual preparation.
  • Receiving the Call to Serve a Mission: In this webinar we will discuss the mission call process, paperwork, the revelatory process for missionaries to be called by God, and other related topics.
  • Gearing Up to Serve a Mission: In this webinar we will discuss missionary clothing and other supplies you’ll need, reading lists, the MTC, teaching by the Spirit, and your purpose as a missionary.

Several factors have prompted me to start up these online classes, not the least of which is the new lower age requirement for missionaries. Since that announcement, there has been a great demand for mission prep classes. The Church has an official Mission Prep class offered through LDS Institutes. Many stakes and wards teach the class too. But many young people aren’t able to take this 14 lesson course, or their stake or ward doesn’t offer it.

I highly recommend that all future missionaries, if you are able, to take the full mission prep class from the Church. While my mission prep webinars do not take the place of the Church class, they will be very helpful to those who are unable to take it. And even for those who have taken or will take the Church mission prep course, I hope you join us for the webinars as well. I think everyone considering a mission will benefit from them.

The plan is to do one webinar per week. In order to hold the webinar at the best time for most people, I ask that you respond to the survey above. In late December or early January I’ll be sending out more information on dates, times, and how to sign up for the webinars. Thank you.