What is a Discipleship Training School?
The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is the entry level school into YWAM. It is an intensive course of 5 to 6 months that has been offered by YWAM for over 40 years now, in many countries of the world. The program aims at helping you "To know God and make Him known", by being transformed in character and relationships into the image of Jesus, as you develop your daily walk with God.
Youth with A Mission (YWAM) DTS's are a standardised course throughout New Zealand and the world. The Course is designed to train Christians to be, and make, disciples of Jesus Christ. To achieve this goal, four main aims are emphasised on the DTS:
- Knowing God as a Christian - To provide the student with an overview of the character and nature of God and the characteristics and responsibilities of the Christian worker.
- Mandate of the Christian - To equip the student with a clear vision of the essence of the great Commission and their role and responsibility to fulfil that mandate.
- Methods of the Christian - To provide the student with methods for contributing to the fulfilment of the Great Commission and the opportunity to gain experience using some of those methods to share the gospel with others.
- Character of the Christian - To provide the student with opportunities to understand their own character and its development and how the student relates with others.
The School is a live-in course composed of two parts consisting of 12 weeks of Lecture Phase and an 8 week Field Assignment (outreach). The Lecture Phase is held at the YWAM Matamata/Family Ministries base. Both national and international speakers and DTS staff teach in the Lecture Phase.
The Field Assignment (also referred to as the "Outreach") follows the Lecture Phase, and is usually off base, in NZ or overseas. It is regarded as a vital part of the training programme when the students put to practice and live out what they have learned. We try to provide several outreach options and ask students to pray about which one they should participate in. Our main area of focus is the South Pacific and Asia as well as New Zealand. Outreach destinations and options typically are not finalized until a few weeks into the school. The focus of outreach is evangelism, service and mercy ministry.