- Missionary Training
- Discipleship Training School (DTS)
- Become a Missionary With YWAM
- Gap Year
- Secondary Schools
- Mission Trips
- Get Involved
Before you start planning, take the time to seek God and ask for His blessing over your decision. Don't bypass His direction -- you might make your initial choice based on practicality and logistics, but if you feel a inexplicable pull toward a certain base or country, ask God if He is speaking to you and wait for confirmation. If you have several bases or countries on your heart and you can't decide between them, don't stress -- maybe God is telling you that the choice is yours, and any one of these bases will help you grow and flourish!
If you're looking to leave your home country for the first time, culture is an important thing to consider. The beauty of a DTS is that you can get out of your comfort zone and head to someplace completely new. Be adventurous, but keep in mind that some cultures might be harder to adjust to than others. Then again, maybe you're looking to leave behind your more reserved culture for a boisterous and welcome Latin American one, or vice versa!
Looking to brush up on your high school language skills? Or are you heading to Brazil even though you don't speak a lick of Portuguese? No matter your skill level, if you choose to do your DTS in a country that speaks another language, you're going to learn fast! Don't be afraid to apply for a YWAM DTS in a country that speaks a different language, however, make sure to double check that all of the lectures are bilingual -- otherwise you'll be forced to learn the language a whole lot quicker than you thought!
Today, prospective students can enroll in a classic DTS, or they can choose from a multitude of different themes. Whether it's photography, justice, art, skateboarding, health care, or compassion, there are so many different themes that can help you see your passions and interests through the lens of missions work. What do you want to pursue? Are you outraged at the sexual exploitation of women and children? You might want to consider a justice DTS. Do you love making videos and wonder how you can use it in missions work? Check out a media DTS. No matter what you're passionate about, there's a DTS for you.
Do you love going to the beach? Is the big city your scene? Or in the middle of the countryside? YWAM bases operate all over the world and in hundreds of different locations. Find out all you can about the location you are interested in -- the climate, what there is to do around the base, how much transportation costs, etc. Remember that you will likely have weekends free, so spend them doing something you enjoy!
Maybe you're the adventurous "I'll eat anything!" person, or maybe you have food allergies and need to keep to a strict routine. Whichever type of person you are, keep in mind that if you go abroad, you might not encounter the same kinds of food. Research the country or city the base is located in and see what shops, restaurants, and grocery stores are around -- this will give you an idea of what is readily available. A tropical place in Latin or South America might have a plethora of fresh fruit, while a country like Germany might serve fresh-baked bread with every meal.
On outreach, there may come a time when you have to eat what the locals eat, and that could be anything from rice and beans to goat meat. But hey -- it's all part of the adventure, and you won't know if you like it until you try it!
YWAM bases come in all different sizes. Some bases are large and able to run mega-DTS's every quarter, while others are family-style and keep it down to 15-20 students per school. For many, this is a crucial deciding factor. You know your personality type, and only you can decide what you will be most comfortable with. Research the bases you are interested in and ask about the typical size of their DTS's. Maybe you are looking for a more intimate school where you can get to know everyone, or maybe you want a bigger pool of new friends to choose from.
Many bases do not announce where a DTS is going on outreach until a few weeks into lecture phase. However, if you're curious, shoot your pending base an email and ask where they've gone in previous years. That might give you an idea of where you'll be heading on outreach.
As an international missions movement, we believe that mercy ministries shouldn't be limited to outreach -- they can happen right where we live! Lots of bases run different ministries, from building homes for families in need to hanging out with local skater kids. It's likely that during your lecture phase you will be serving with the ministries on your prospective base, so make sure it's something you're passionate about!
Last but not least, consider the community you are going to be living in. Talk with someone from the base on the phone and ask what the atmosphere is like there. Is it family-oriented? Are there lots of different nations represented? Is it big and busy or small and intimate? These are all valid questions to consider as you search for the place you'll be spending the next six months of your life!
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you navigate the many different DTS options and find the right base for you. Just remember that wherever you go and no matter which base you choose, God will be there, waiting to meet you.