The YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) offers a unique time in your life to focus on who God made you to be, and what He wants you to do.
But YWAM offers a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing your DTS. How do you narrow down your choices?
Here are some questions to ask yourself, and to pray over and discuss with your parents, your pastor, and trusted counselors. These tips will help you find the YWAM location that is right for you.
1) What kind of cultural experience do you want? Do you want to stay in your own nation? Are you open to go totally cross-cultural?
The DTS normally consists of a three-month lecture phase in one location, and then a two or three-month outreach somewhere else. You can choose to do the DTS lecture phase close to home, or on the other side of the world. If you decide to apply for a DTS in a different culture, keep in mind that it can be stressful living in a totally foreign environment, with unfamiliar food, sleeping arrangements and cultural expectations. Some people will thrive on that. Others may find that the challenge of the DTS teaching is enough and prefer to stay in a more familiar culture.
When you search for a region you’re interested in, you can find DTSes that take place entirely in the country you’re interested in or you can find a list of regions or countries in the DTS outreach destinations.
2) Do you prefer to join a large, well-established YWAM community, or be part of a smaller, pioneering effort?
Some DTSes have 100 students. Others have less than 10. What would you prefer? You can be part of a big center that is already doing lots of different things, or a tiny one that is pioneering new ministries and initiatives.
After you search for a DTS, you can click on the location name to find out the size of this YWAM location and the ministries there.
3) Are you looking for specialized training?
Some DTS programs incorporate a focus on a particular type of activity alongside the curriculum. This could be sports, the arts, a focus on a particular geographic region, or a particular kind of cause. Are you passionate about justice or preventing human trafficking? Or snowboarding or surfing or football? Or photography or dancing? There might be a DTS that specializes in that.
On the top search bar you can use the Explore page to search by passion, or you can type words like “soccer” or “justice.”
4) Talk to others who have been to that YWAM location!
The best way to find out what any particular YWAM school or location is like is to ask others who have been there! Many YWAM locations have a Facebook page. You can call or email most locations and chat to staff there, who will be happy to answer your questions. Just remember time zones and working hours may be different!
When you search for a DTS you’ll find a contact form. When you fill it out your questions will go directly to the people who run that DTS.