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The Application Process


You may submit the full application packet beginning January 15 of each year. We will continue to accept full applications until March 31, as space allows.


Spending three and a half years in another culture is a big step. Before you decide to apply, it is therefore important to take enough time to explore your options and make sure this is the right path for you. Throughout our website, you’ll find resources to help you including webinars, retreats, and a reflection guide.

We also know the process we outline below can be a bit daunting. But don’t worry. Just take it slow. In fact, we recommend you start the process about a year before you hope to attend Orientation.

And remember: we’re always here to help. So don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re stuck. If you have questions or run into any trouble with the application process, email [email protected] and someone will get back to you as soon as we can.


Participating in our webinar will give you important information about our approach to mission and the details of the admissions process. There will also be an opportunity to engage is some discernment activities as part of the webinar process. Overall, the webinar will help you determine  whether Maryknoll Lay Missioners is a good match for you and whether this is a good time in your life to apply.


This phase has two steps:

  • Submit an application. The complete application is due March 31 of each year. Your submission will be reviewed by members of the admissions board, and if they feel you are a good match for Maryknoll Lay Missioners, they will invite you for an interview. As part of the application we ask applicants  to write some autobiographical essays and to submit medical forms and recommendations.
  • Interview with members of the Admissions Board. All interviews will take place by zoom.


Once you are accepted, there are three more steps before you go overseas.

  • Submit a few final forms. Acceptance is provisional based on a background check and a doctor’s indication that you are healthy enough to go overseas.
  • Participate in the Placement Process. Before Orientation actually begins, in a process of mutual discernment, we will try to match your skills, interests, and experience with our needs in the regions.
  • Attend the Orientation Program. In our 8 week program in Ossining, NY, you will explore theologies of mission and develop skills needed in cross-cultural mission.  Orientation is also the final phase of mutual discernment, giving both you and Maryknoll Lay Missioners a chance to be certain this is the right time for you to go to mission.


At the end of orientation, you will sign a covenant and a contract, and participate in a sending ceremony that formally welcomes you to Maryknoll Lay Missioners! Then you will return home for Christmas and a chance to say goodbye to friends and family. The date you will actually go overseas will be arranged with the lay missioners in the country where you have been assigned. Once you are there, the local team will orient you, get you settled in housing, and guide you in getting started in ministry. In most cases, you will spend the first few months of your time in your host country in language school.