Who can come to a DTS? What are the requirements for a DTS?
YWAM’s Discipleship Training School is a program designed for those 18 years and older (or who have completed High School) who want to grow in their relationship with God and in what it means to live with Him. This is the only requirement for DTS! The DTS takes place in a community setting, inviting people to leave behind work, school and other responsibilities for the five months program.
The Community Outreach DTS is an open door to a world of opportunities for “ordinary” people to be used by God to accomplish extraordinary things! Students come from all over the world to be a part of this transformational experience!
Is a DTS only for those wanting to go into full-time missions?
No! We recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each individuals life. We encourage each student to follow that call into what ever sphere He leads. (Many discover that calling in DTS as they are learning to hear God's voice!) We affirm that being a nurse, teacher, office worker, stay-at-home parent, or car salesman is no less important than being a pastor or missionary. God wants us to be His hands and feet where ever He places us. A christian businessman or politician will come into contact with people that a missionary or pastor may never meet. As Christians the great commission is all of our responsibility, no matter what our "job title"is. If you do calling you info full-time ministry, either short term or long-term, DTS will give you a hands on feel for what that can/does look like. A DTS is a requirement for anyone wanting to work with YWAM long-term.
Should I take a Gap Year or wait till after college?
There isn't a bad time to do a DTS, however we do encourage High School graduates to take a gap year before college.
1. Coming out of High School and into college you have to commit to what you want to study, and by extension, what field you want to work in the rest of your life! Most High School graduates have an idea of what they want to do, but many change their minds after experiencing the reality of that field. (Only 27% of college graduates end up with a career in their field of study!) A gap year allows you to take time to seek God and discover what He has created you to be passionate about!
2. Even Harvard encourages student to take a deferred admission for a gap year! (Read about it here.) They have found that students are more likely to experience "burn out" when coming in straight from High School. Research shows that students that take a gap year graduate with higher GPA's that their peers and are more satisfied with their careers. (Don't take our word for it! Do some research!)
Is DTS tuition tax-deductible?
Many students will ask for donations towards their DTS. As this is a missions training and you are doing ministry, that is completely normal and acceptable! People can give directly to you or send the funds to us, with a memo stating who the money is for. However we are unable to give tax-deductible receipts for money given towards your DTS. Why? Because you are paying for a service. You are paying for housing, food, speaker flight costs, etc. So money paid towards your DTS is not a donation to us, it is a payment. Some churches are able/willing to do this however, so you can always ask your home church!
The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is one of the YWAM courses registered with YWAM’s University of the Nations (U of N). The U of N offers credits for the DTS which can be applied to U of N degrees (Associate, Bachelors, and Masters). Students receive 12 credit hours for the DTS lecture phase and 8 credit hours for the outreach phase. Also, credits from U of N courses are transferable to a number of respected Christian colleges in the United States.
Do I need a visa to travel to St.Croix?
If you hold a US Passport then you do not need a visa for St.Croix as we are a U.S. Territory. However anyone from outside the USA will needs a USA visa if applicable to your nation. Entrance to St.Croix is the same us the mainland USA.
What is housing like?
Housing will be similar to college dorm style housing! You will be sharing a bunk style room with 1-3 other students. Depending on housing being used, their will either be a bathroom attached or a bathhouse close to your room. There is not a ton of storage space, so be wise about how you pack! However you won't be in your room very often! There are several spaces around the base, inside and out, to hang out and study!