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.


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.


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.

32 replies
  1. andrew janes
    andrew janes says:

    I am a recent convert with four years membership and am a full tithe payer and am very keen to serve a full time mission and I’m 35 years,so you can imagine how sad I was feeling when I saw that any male member over the age of 26 will not be accepted to do a mission ,technically denying me the opportunity to do what I’ve set my heart in doing ,surely this is age discrimination . So disappointed that I cannot be considered to do the lords work and serve others simply because of my age. NOT FAIR . 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • cassandra
      cassandra says:

      You can go teaching with the elders, go on splits with them, and be a missionary everywhere you go. You do not need a name tag to share the fullness of the Gospel.

    • Jonathan Santiago
      Jonathan Santiago says:

      Just as the other person said, you do not need a name tag to share the restored gospel. I am 24 years and I’ve been a member of the church for 1 year and 1 month. I go out with the missionaries as much as I can and I am now preparing the serve a mission. Going out with the missionaries helps your testimony grow and strengthens it. Be obedient to the Lord, he knows what’s best for us. 🙂

    • Udo Wegner
      Udo Wegner says:

      I understand your feeling nevertheless the Lord understands you brother and he will prepare the way for you to be a Missionary.
      Keep up the good work and be faithful and Gods spirit will lead you to the people who are waiting for you.
      God will bless you and the people around you just don’t give up.

    • Mike Higginson
      Mike Higginson says:

      You can still serve a Church Service Mission, and there are many opportunities to do so. Service is service, whether you serve a full time mission, or a multitude of other types of service. Look into it, you may be pleasantly surprised what types of service you can render.

    • George Wright
      George Wright says:

      I joined the church at age 42 and about a year later my wife died from a heart attack. I learned, and you will learn that, while senior couples and sisters of any age are welcome to go on service missions, there are very few missionary opportunities (and few ward callings) available for single brothers. I suggest that you do like me and find joy in the few callings available for single brothers. If this troubles you, you should consider asking your bishop for counseling.

    • Miller
      Miller says:

      I could not agree more. People might say that name tags aren’t important. But the point of experiencing and devoting your time for 2 years is really something. It’s like an achievement for your soul. Being with the missionaries and spending time with them is very different than being a missionary yourself. If you are single, healthy and willing I don’t think the church should limit the age. I don’t understand that.

    • Amber
      Amber says:

      I was eager to go on a mission, but I married my husband and started a family instead. We lived overseas for the military and I decided to consider that my missionary opportunity. Member missionary work is just as important! Plus, I get to look forward to serving a mission with my spouse someday. Even though I wanted to serve as a young adult, the Lord had different plans for me. Enjoy this stage in life and share the gospel as much as you can. Like me, you can look forward to serving a mission with your spouse someday

    • Dominic Hester
      Dominic Hester says:

      You can serve in other capacities in the church there is plenty of work to go around building up the church and saving souls. Like a Church-service missionary, or later in life as a married couple missionary team. God can still utilize your talents for good brother!!! Not to mention going to the temple and doing genealogy which is very important. You are loved so much!!!

    • Jarom
      Jarom says:

      The reason for the age cap is that the mission is a developmental period in a person’s life. It is meant to prepare them more fully and once they get to a certain age, the most important thing they can do is work to start a family. That is the point of life, to be sealed to an eternal companion and be exalted.

  2. lineq
    lineq says:

    i really understand the feeling that each missionaries be able to have in many days as about to serve or receive a call to serve i other country.i am so proud for this wonderful site that each person have the chance to share there feelings about the sacred work of the lord i know it too hard but if we have faith i jesus christ evertything could be possible.

  3. pouliofata
    pouliofata says:

    hey thank you for this wonderful oppurtunity that i have to share my comments on your site, sorry i am a member of the church and i am prepare to serve as a missionary about 1 more year,i am so proud for this wonderful experience it reminds me of the lords work, yup keep faith as a powerful tool in our life and sty away from bad choices…

  4. Nephi Fife
    Nephi Fife says:

    I’ve actually messed up within the past five years and few months in my life in the military. But by the time I get out I will be 26 years old. I was sent home early from my mission, and was given the opportunity to go back and serve. But I chose to join the Air Force. And it has weighed so heavily on me. And even though I will be 26 by the time I get out…. I still cannot serve or finish my mission? I want to so badly now as of some serious life changes more than ever. And I just need to know a real answer here. Because that is seriously all that I can think about. Serving a mission ain’t a sacrifice. It’s a blessing and a gift like no other and I just want to go back on a mission so badly.

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      You’re right that a mission is a privilege and a blessing. I believe, though, that the age limit is 25, so unless you get an exception from your priesthood leaders, you won’t be able to go back out and finish your mission. If you feel strongly about it, though, do make an appointment to go discuss it with your bishop. Good luck, and God bless.

  5. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    I am a newly convert from July this year and just wanted to know if young married couples can serve their mission together, not just seniors?

  6. Harry
    Harry says:

    I meant to serve my mission back when I was 19 but due to worthiness issues I struggled and decided to attend university believing that the age limit was 27…now I’m done with my degree still struggling but somewhat better and I still have the fiercely burning desire to serve a mission. I feel that I can never ‘self-actualize’ in life no matter how much success I achieve. But due to my worthiness issues I may only be able to submit my papers probably a few days before my 26th birthday. Is there hope for me or am I doomed to life of regret and mediocrity?? Please help

    • Ykaris
      Ykaris says:

      Man, I’m in the same situation! I priorized my university,thinking that I could serve a mission when I’ll be older! My sister married in December last and I started to become afraid of leave my mother alone… I recently made 27 years old and I’m desesperated! I don’t see any sense on my life without a mission! Every time that i look to a badge of a missionary is like a hurricane on my body! I’m crying every day and feeling that my place is not more were I live! I can’t look in the eyes of my last bishop, I don’t have the courage to talk with the Elder who converted me! I fell like a bad joke! :'( I’ll talk to my bishop! Must be some hope! Sorry for the bad english!

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Since you are 25, I believe you are still eligible based on age. You’ll want to clarify that with your bishop though. Good luck. I’m glad you want to serve a mission. And may God bless you.

  7. Darious SMT Wehyee
    Darious SMT Wehyee says:

    I desired to serve mission,because I still
    have mission age.By next year june 1, I will be 24years in Liberia. Doe community branch.Really I always want to be mission, because I have the desire to do the Lord work

  8. Darious SMT Wehyee
    Darious SMT Wehyee says:

    Darious SMT Wehyee

    I desired to serve mission because I still have mission age.
    next year june 1,I will be 24years.But I don’t know
    why when you are older than 25 you can serve young men mission if you have the desire to do God?

    • Jared
      Jared says:

      There is a time and place for all things. When you’re older, the best way to serve God is to start a family and teach them

  9. Darious SMT Wehyee
    Darious SMT Wehyee says:

    I really want to go on mission next year,because it is my desire to serve God.To serve mission is one of the good work to do for God if you still have the age as young men.It has been my desire to serve God especially on a mission.mission work brings changes in evrey man life and also bless your family.I always want to be a missionary until this life.

  10. Jens
    Jens says:


    I’m just 26 (my birthday was in march, 4 months ago).
    i’m newly convert. I want make a mission.
    Do you think I can go on mission, or I need to get an exception to my priesthood leaders before ?

    • Bob
      Bob says:

      I can’t speak for the church but I imagine there is an exception process for those who’s hearts are in the right place and have the resolve. That being said having a family and serving when they age out is really the next step. Can’t wait forever on that.

  11. Mike
    Mike says:

    Some of the best people in the CHurch that I know never served a full time mission. A mission does not make or break you. Take a look at were you are in life and be the best person you can be. Love your fellow man. Magnify your alling. Come to know your Savior personally. Make the difference in the life of others. Dont get hung up on the idea that you are less because you didn’t serve a mission at 19.


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