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Eligibility Requirements

Maryknoll Lay Missioners welcomes you to apply if you are


We are looking for people who are motivated by their faith and will feel comfortable in the context of a Catholic organization.


Age 21 or older and in good physical and mental health

We accept from age 21 all the way through people’s retirement years.


 A U.S. citizen or permanent resident

At this time, we do not accept citizens of other countries who do not have permanent residence in the U.S. Permanent residents should be aware that being out of the country for a prolonged period may affect their status in the U.S. and can disturb continued residency requirements necessary to become a citizen.


Single, a married couple, or a family

If you are married, both spouses must be interested in pursuing mission together. In general, we take families with no more than two children, eight years old or younger, with exceptions considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the family’s previous overseas experience and their long-term plans for the education of their children.


Willing to make a 3 ½ -year commitment to overseas service

Our standard commitment is 3 ½ years. This gives you the time needed to get to know the culture of the people you work with, which is essential to our values. We do not believe we come in with all the answers—we work with local partners to seek together for solutions that will be culturally appropriate and that integrate with their vision for their own communities. We do offer 2 ½-year commitments in a few regions (Tanzania, Bolivia and El Salvador) for applicants who already speak the language of the host country.


Experienced with service to others

Whether it is through an ongoing volunteer position or a paid job, you should already have experience working with people experiencing poverty or marginalization. That experience should be regular and ongoing over the course of several months or longer.


Experienced at engaging with people from different backgrounds and cultures

This could include if the majority population where you live is of a different cultural family than you – every day may be a cross-cultural experience.  It could be engagements you have through service experiences or intentional trips inside or outside the U.S., where you are/were actively partnering and engaging with the local population. You should already have had meaningful encounters grounded in mutuality and respect with people from other backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and/or other identities.

Still have questions about eligibility? Not sure if you fit? Email Lupe at lgarcia@mklm.org to ask questions or start a conversation about your particular situation.