Mission Training International began in the hearts of Phil Armstrong, R.E. Thompson, and Clyde Taylor. In 1954, Missionary Internship was incorporated in Michigan. In 1955, 30 adults from five mission sending agencies completed the first 7-month internship session.
The unique focus of Missionary Internship grew from the concern for young missionary applicants that were well qualified academically, but had little practical experience in church work and were not prepared to thrive in a new culture. The goal of this new organization was to reduce the rate of first term drop-outs by offering internship experiences that provided practical training in ministry and preparation for the stresses and adjustments of living and working in a different culture.
In 1961, God directed Missionary Internship to a beautiful wooded site on the outskirts of Farmington, Michigan. On the rolling, heavily-wooded 26 acres, a campus was erected with residences for permanent staff, motel-type accommodations for participants in the various MI programs, dining, nursery, classroom and office facilities adequate for new program development to better meet the current needs of missionaries.
By 1965, 1,000 missionaries had completed MI’s program. In 1973, a 3-week pre-field orientation course was offered along with the 7-month internship program. Then, in 1975, the first PILAT (Program in Language Acquisition Techniques) was offered under the supervision of Dwight and Barbara Gradin.
By 1985, over 7,000 missionaries had completed training through MI. In 1992, MI moved from Michigan to Colorado Springs, CO. In 1996, MI became Mission Training International. By 2001, MTI had recognized the need for a campus that would better fit training needs and built a new training center in Palmer Lake, CO.
In 2013, MTI combined the two pre-field programs (SPLICE & PILAT) into one 4-week Compass program.
Mission Training International continues today at the forefront of missionary training. We are unique in the Christian community in that our focus remains exclusively on preparing missionaries and their families for cross-cultural life and ministry. Our nonformal approach is experience and affective-domain based and serves as the bridge between formal education and life as it is lived in another culture.
Over and over through our history, God has provided and directed MTI in powerful and practical ways. We are honored to serve the thousands of cross-cultural workers that have been through our programs over the years. In the future, we will continue to follow God’s leading in how to improve our programs so that the Gospel can be spread effectively around the world by people who have been truly transformed by its power. That is the only legacy we desire.