ABOUT THE MTC
The Manhattan Training Center (MTC) is a program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for full-time missionary service by teaching them how to lead full, contributing lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. To learn more, keep reading below.
What is the mission of the MTC? Our mission is to help youth become worthy to receive sacred covenants, understand the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and recognize and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit through exciting and engaging activities especially tailored to our awesome city.
Who can be a part of the MTC? Any young men and young women in their junior or senior years of high school are invited to join us in the MTC.
What sorts of things will I do in the MTC? You will come to find Christ all around you in New York City as we visit our brothers and sisters of other faiths, explore museums and historical sites, study the scriptures deeper than ever before, and share our experiences with our friends and with each other.
What if I'm not sure I want to serve a full-time mission? We still want you to come! We aren't so focused on learning specific missionary skills as we are on building testimonies of Christ and having a great time—and that's worth doing whether or not a mission is in your future!
What about all the other church youth programs I'm supposed to be doing? The MTC is designed to be the weekly youth program for juniors and seniors, so it will not add any extra meetings or activities to your schedule beyond what you have already been doing. As a bonus, just showing up and participating in the MTC will get you 95% of the way toward finishing your Duty to God or Personal Progress programs.
For parents, leaders, and friends: How can I stay informed about MTC activites? We will keep this website updated with pictures, videos, and blog posts about all the amazing things the youth are doing, so please come back and visit the site often. Also, you can sign up for a monthly newsletter by providing your information below.
The core objectives of the MTC are three-fold:
1. To become worthy to receive sacred covenants.
2. To understand the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
3. To recognize and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The MTC mirrors the organization of a traditional Latter-day Saint mission (i.e. Mormons, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). The geography of the stake (equivalent of a dioceses) is considered the "Mission", while certain wards (equivalent of a parish, synagogue, or mosque) have been combined to serve as "Zones". There are two Zone Leaders per Zone (one male and one female), and two MTC Leaders (the MTC Mom & Dad) who oversee the program. In addition to these, the MTC has a Media Specialist who will be capturing many of the moments you will be viewing on this site.
The MTC is a 16-month program spread over the course of two years (8 months per year, October through May, following the regular school calendar). The program is designed to replace traditional weekly mutual activities, with one free week per month to allow for combined ward activities (see "Individual Activities" below). With holidays taken into consideration, the MTC only requires 25 of the 52 weeks per year in order to attain its purpose—an exceptional feat considering one can fulfill 95% of the requirements outlined for the Duty to God and Personal Progress programs within that 8-month window. Below is a summary of the rotating activity schedule the MTC will follow:
Week 1—Keynote Presentation: The Keynote Presentation will introduce the month's doctrinal topic to the participants of the MTC via an invited guest speaker. Particular attention will be given to doctrine as it relates to scripture, in addition to historical and cultural contexts. The content will be challenging in nature, not unlike what what one might experience in a religion class in college.
Week 2—Individual Activity: Building on the Keynote Presentation, each youth will be given a specific task to help them internalize the doctrine they have just learned. These activities will focus on interacting with the surrounding community—specifically with people of other faiths, and/or varying backgrounds. The goal of these activities will be to help the youth process and articulate their own beliefs, while learning how light and truth can be found all around them (see the 13th Article of Faith). Also note that the Individual Activity will be completed by each Zone Leader—it should not be assumed that leaders can teach the youth a principle when they have not taken the time to fully appreciate it themselves.
Week 3—Zone Activity: Reporting on the week’s previous Individual Activity, each youth will have the opportunity to share a mini presentation with the Zone, focusing on what they have experienced and learned. The Zone Leaders will encourage and uplift each youth as they present, in addition to offering supplementary context within which to help internalize doctrine. Each youth will be given a predetermined amount of time to present with a follow up opportunity to field comments and/or questions in a round-table style discussion. As a guideline, the Zone Leaders will lead the discussion with the presentations they have personally prepared from their participation in the Individual Activity.
Week 4—Mission Activity: As a capstone to the month’s doctrinal topic, the Mission (i.e. participants of the MTC) will meet back together to participate in a large-scale, engaging activity. The goal of these activities will be to help the youth “experience” the doctrine they have been taught in a setting that is exceptionally memorable and stimulating. Sample Mission Activities will include visits to historical monuments, museums, and the houses of worship of varying faiths.
The curriculum for the MTC will be guided by the manual Preach My Gospel. This manual is given to all full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each month will be dedicated to a chapter within the manual (excluding December). The schedule for 2013-14 is listed below:
October: Studying The Scriptures
November: The Restoration
December: Cooking & Budgeting
January: The Plan of Salvation
February: The Gospel of Jesus Christ
March: The Commandments
April: Laws, Ordinances & Covenants
May: Family History & Temples
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