Invitation to Tour New Facilities at Provo MTC a “Rare Opportunity”

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 6 June 2017

Construction work is wrapping up on two new sprawling training buildings at the Provo Missionary Training Center.  Photo by Jason Swensen.

Article Highlights

  • The newly expanded Provo MTC will be open for public tours July 31 through August 19.
  • The expansion added more than 200 classrooms, new landscaping, and parking.

“The Missionary Department of the Church is delighted with the decision of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve to open the new Provo MTC buildings to the public so that all can see this dedicated place of learning.” —Elder Brent H. Nielson, General Authority Seventy

PROVO, UTAH

Dramatic additions to the Provo Missionary Training Center will soon be complete—and you’ve been invited to take a look around.

The Provo MTC will be hosting public open houses beginning July 31, 2017, and running through August 19, 2017. The tours will operate six days a week, Monday through Saturday, and be conducted largely by elders and sister missionaries being trained at the center.

Additional tours will be available August 21–25 for registered BYU Education Week participants.

A singular opportunity

“The Missionary Department of the Church is delighted with the decision of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve to open the new Provo MTC buildings to the public so that all can see this dedicated place of learning for our new missionaries who serve all around the world,” said Elder Brent H. Nielson, a General Authority Seventy and the Missionary Department’s Executive Director.

While an MTC is generally not open to the public, Elder Nielson added, “We are hoping that this open house will allow many of our members [and their guests] this rare opportunity to come and feel the spirit of the Provo MTC and learn more about what happens there in the life of a missionary.”

Officials expect hundreds of thousands to tour the facility that began training missionaries nearly four decades ago.

“The tours will allow people who might otherwise not have an opportunity to be inside the MTC to take a peek inside,” said Kelend Mills, the Church’s director of missionary training centers.

The Provo MTC tours will be free but require a ticket. Beginning July 10, people can make open house ticket reservations by visiting mtcopenhouse.lds.org.

The Provo MTC is located at 2005 North 900 East, just west of the Provo Utah Temple.

The new buildings at the Provo Missionary Training Center include several missionary-themed messaging elements. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Messaging inside the new buildings at the Provo Missionary Training Center is hoped to inspire and uplift missionaries. Photo by Jason Swensen.

The newly expanded Provo Missionary Training Center will include outdoor open spaces that missionaries will use for relaxation and study. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Organizers anticipate the tours will last about an hour. Visitors will be able to park at designated lots outside the MTC and will be shuttled to the facility.

Keeping up with an unprecedented number of missionaries

The Church announced plans to expand the Provo MTC in 2014, following a dramatic spike in the number of missionaries serving across the globe. The increase was prompted by the 2012 policy change that lowered the ages at which men and women can serve missions.

The two-year expansion project—which is expected to be completed in early June—includes two new six-story buildings, enhanced outdoor space for missionary use, improved landscaping, and just over 300 new underground parking stalls.

“We’re wrapping up the project,” said Brother Mills. “We’re now installing the furniture, artwork, and other messaging elements.”

The two new buildings house more than 200 new missionary classrooms—along with large meeting spaces for ecclesiastical meetings and other large-group instruction. Many of the classrooms include expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and buildings, including the Provo Utah Temple and Mount Timpanogos.

The spacious designs in the classrooms and in other open spaces in the new buildings will provide a comfortable, airy environment for missionaries to study together and enjoy quiet contemplation.

The Provo MTC expansion project did not include new living quarters, although some existing dormitories were remodeled to accommodate an increased campus capacity.

Additional future enhancements are being considered that would remove the oldest training buildings on the campus, making room for additional green space and a new entrance to the MTC where missionaries will be greeted when they arrive.

Capacity at the Provo MTC is expected to increase to allow for as many as 3,700 missionaries at a time.

The latest in a long line of training centers

While MTC staff members will assist with the open house, missionaries in training at the facility will conduct most of the public tours. The novice missionaries will gain invaluable experience interacting with visitors of all backgrounds.

While the public open house will offer many unprecedented access to the MTC, the training of new missionaries for their assignments around the world will remain the center’s top priority. Some 2,000 missionaries will be residing at the MTC during the open house.

The tours are expected to have “minimal impact” on the day-to-day training of individual missionaries.

Missionary training centers play a key role in the experiences of the tens of thousands of young men, young women, and senior couples who answer calls to full-time missionary work each year. There are 15 missionary training centers in operation around the world. The Provo MTC trains missionaries for service worldwide and offers instruction in 55 different languages.

Missionary training goes back to almost the beginning of the restored Church. In 1832, the School of the Prophets was organized so elders could “teach one another” the gospel and “be prepared in all things” for their missionary callings (see D&C 88:77–80, 118).

For more than a century, the Church has formally trained missionaries in several locations, including:

  • The Brigham Young Academy (1894)
  • The Ricks Academy (early 1900s)
  • The Latter-day Saint University (1902)
  • The Salt Lake Mission Home (1925)
  • The Missionary Language Institute (1961)
  • The Language Training Mission (1962; located in Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii)

Since opening in 1978, the Provo MTC has trained more than 600,000 missionaries from nearly every country in the world.

A construction worker applies a coat of paint inside one of the new training buildings at the Provo Missionary Training Center. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Large meeting rooms inside new buildings at the Provo Missionary Training Center will be used for group training meetings and Sunday worship services. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Both of the new buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, will have lobbies with paintings of various scenes depicting the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Small classrooms at the Provo Missionary Training Center include floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Utah Valley, including the Provo Utah Temple. Photo by Jason Swensen.

The new construction at the missionary training center (MTC) was primarily to provide additional classroom space for missionaries to fine-tune teaching skills and the language they are learning. There are no living quarters in the two buildings.

Spread out on the six floors of one of the new buildings are 204 classrooms, 106 practice teaching rooms, 13 computer labs, and 27 areas to serve as quiet spaces for pondering at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.

Both buildings in the new missionary training center (MTC) have wide stairways to encourage use of the stairs rather than the elevators.

In addition to the beautiful landscaping surrounding the two new buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, a round water feature has been constructed.

An aerial view of the missionary training center (MTC), north of the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah. The new buildings are shown as renderings located next to the existing MTC. The Provo Utah Temple is shown just below the Wasatch Mountains.

A scale-sized model of the ongoing Provo Missionary Training Center expansion project is on display in the MTC reception area. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Two new six-story buildings, additions to the missionary training center in Provo, Utah, are nearing the end of construction. The extra space will accommodate the increase in the numbers of missionaries that will be trained before leaving for their assigned areas of service.

In addition to the beautiful landscaping surrounding the two new buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, a round water feature has been constructed.

The new two-building complex at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, provides additional space to teach missionaries before they are sent to their assigned areas of the world. Once construction is finished, the Provo MTC will increase capacity to train as many as 3,700 elders and sister missionaries at a time, up from 2,800. The Provo Utah Temple, on the right, is in the background below the Wasatch Mountains.

The 4.5 acres south of the existing missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, where the two new six-story buildings are being constructed, will also be covered with more than 93,000 square feet of lawn, 276 shade trees, 57 flowering trees, 74 evergreen trees, and nearly 160,000 square feet of flower beds.

In addition to studying, learning, and practicing skills, missionaries have views of the Wasatch Mountains and the Provo Utah Temple to the east of the two new six-story additions to the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.

Southeast view of the rendering of the new six-story buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.

Rendering of the south entrance to the new six-story buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. Missionaries will leave from this side to board a bus that will take them to the Salt Lake City International Airport for their assigned mission locations.

Rendering of the lobby in one of the new buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.

Rendering of the lobby in one of the new buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.

Rendering of a terrace that overlooks the courtyard in the new missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.

Rendering of a classroom located in the two new buildings at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.