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Discipleship Training School

In a YWAM DTS you will learn more of who God is and travel the world on a journey to make His love known.


Get Discipled

YWAM's Discipleship Training School (DTS) is a life-changing five-month program that builds a solid foundation of personal growth and relationship with Jesus. It starts with twelve weeks of biblical teaching, real-life application, and ongoing discipleship, all geared towards helping you know God better at our YWAM Louisville Campus. Then you’ll take your growing love for Jesus and share it with others on an eight-week overseas mission trip.

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Know God Better

You’ll not only explore new places with people who feel like family—you’ll also experience the adventure of knowing Him more deeply and seeing Him work through you to reach others.


Be Alongside Like-Minded People

Encounter God’s love for you in deep, personal ways. Learn about your identity in Christ. Discover more of your purpose. Grow alongside others in our missionary community – and create lifelong friendships. Gain confidence and real cross-cultural experience as you step out of your comfort zone and introduce others to the life-changing hope of who Jesus is.

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What to Expect in a YWAM DTS

A YWAM DTS is full of powerful teaching and in-depth discipleship. Our training takes you deep, rooting you in the truth of God’s Word and helping you grow in His love as you walk more closely with Him. And that’s just the beginning! Here in our missionary community, we’re all learning and growing as we pursue Jesus together.


We’re known for how we love one another. You’ll feel like you’re part of the family – because you are!


During DTS you will have weekly one-on-one discipleship that takes you deep, rooting you in the truth of God’s Word and helping you grow in His love.


Three times a week we come together as a community and praise Him from the overflow of our heart.

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What is A YWAM DTS?

DTS Has Two Parts:


Know God

Each week we’ll bring in speakers who have experience in ministry and in walking with the Lord. They’ll teach us on a foundational aspect of following Jesus. Our class times are interactive and challenging, focusing on real-life application. Our goal is for the truth to sink deep into our hearts, changing us from the inside out.

Topics include:

  • Effective Prayer
  • How to Study and Understand the Bible
  • How to Share the Gospel
  • Knowing Who You Are in Christ

DTS Lecture Phase

It’s a chance to have your perspectives altered and your view of God deepened.

Schedule For Lecture Phase

Aspects of Lecture Phase

YWAM Worship and Music

Worship & Prayer

Regular times of gathering to worship Jesus are central to the rhythm of DTS.

YWAM devotional and studying bible

Quiet Times

We connect with God everyday by spending time reading the bible, praying, doing devotionals, and listening to worship music.

YWAM Louisville city

Local Ministry

Each week we go throughout the city, build friendships and share Jesus through things like homeless ministry such as Exit 0 and Salvation Army, service project with Love City, and more.

DTS Outreach Phase

Join others to take the message and love of God across the world


Make Him Known

After twelve weeks of experiencing God’s heart in an entirely new way, you’ll be itching to get out and do something for him. The eight-week mission trip portion of DTS continues the impact on your own life as God draws you out of your comfort zone and works through you to bring his love to others.

Outreach Includes:

  • Friendship based evangelism
  • Prayer
  • Service
  • Children's ministry
  • Travel
  • Immersion in other cultures
  • Live amongst locals


What People Say About YWAM?

"I decided to do a DTS because I knew I really enjoyed mission trips and didn’t want to just serve for a week out of the year. I called a friend and long story short he recommended YWAM. Soon after inquiring, I got a call and after talking to them it just really felt like home. At the end of the phone call, the girl on the phone prayed for me.
I ended up going to South Africa for my DTS outreach and the Philippines for my secondary school outreach. In South Africa and throughout my DTS experience I think one of the biggest takeaways was that it was about relationship with Jesus, not just going through the motions of religion. While in my secondary school (SOMD) I learned a lot about leadership and my own strengths and how to use those.
Personally I feel like everyone should do a DTS, not just because it rocks, but because what you learn are skills you can use forever. Even if you don't continue to do YWAM schools you'll be grateful for the knowledge that you obtain and the experiences and friendships you get to have."

Megan Strickland

DTS Alumni


"I went not knowing what to expect. I left with a deeper relationship with my Father. God really used this place and ministry to reveal Himself and to heal me in more ways than I can share on here. And he used the staff and other students to do so. YWAM Louisville will always have a special place in my heart."

Tim Cooper

DTS Alumni


"Jesus used my gap year (doing my Discipleship Training School and also a secondary school, School of Ministry Development) with YWAM Louisville to completely change my life. I wanted to grow in my relationship with Jesus and entering a community of people who were committed to knowing Jesus and making Him known was one of the best decisions I've made to see that growth come about. My view of God and myself were changed in such a way that I am now committed full time to the completion of the Great Commission! Of course the Lord has been the one to work in my life, but thank you, YWAM Louisville, for your devotion to the Lord!"

Lexi Mast

DTS Alumni


"I grew up as a Christian but never realized how much room to grow I had. Going through YWAM Louisville's discipleship programs changed my life. I went into it as a way of doing missions and hopefully never having to do it again, but I came out of it with a calling to a life of missions'

I don't think there's a single person who wouldn't benefit in doing Discipleship Training School at YWAM Louisville. No matter what your background is or how long you've been a Christian, no matter if you're fresh out of high school or a decade into a job, this program can change your life because of the way they point you to the Lord!"

Michael Miller

DTS Alumni

What Others Have Learned


Discipleship Training School is full of opportunities to grow. You’ll discover things that you need to learn  and things you didn’t know that you didn’t know before coming to DTS. Here are somethings that previous students learned within the first few weeks:



God's Grace

I didn’t understand the extent of God’s grace before I came. One of the speakers we had opened my eyes to how you don’t have to earn your place at God’s table. 



Power of God's Love

I didn’t understand the power of God’s love for me and that I get to choose to accept it and then return it to him. 



I Thought I Wasn’t Prideful

That pride can be valuing yourself above or below what you truly are. I thought I wasn’t prideful but thought of myself below who God created me to be, and didn’t realize that was a problem before DTS.

Upcoming YWAM DTS Dates & Costs


Sep 18, 2022 - Feb 25, 2023


includes classes, training, and materials 


cost based on outreach location

+$295 fee for a week-long conference


Jan 8, 2023 – Jun 3, 2023


includes classes, training, and materials


cost based on outreach location


Mar 26, 2023 – Aug 19, 2023


includes classes, training, and materials


cost based on outreach location

Personalize Your YWAM DTS

At this YWAM location, you have the option of choosing the “flavor” for your DTS experience. Electives maintain the core training of a DTS while adding an emphasis near to your heart. Our upcoming DTS electives include :






Considered a Gap Year?

Do a full-year of missions by combining your Discipleship Training School with the School of Ministry Development (SOMD) to make a YWAM Gap Year.

How Do I Pay For My YWAM DTS?

Do not know how to raise the funds for tuition? Here are some of the ways you can raise the money to come to DTS.

  • Pray and Trust God

  • Ask Friends And Family

  • Ask Your Church

  • Get A Job

What Can You Do After YWAM?

Discipleship Training School opens a door to a world of possibilities with YWAM and other organizations. Once you have completed a DTS, you have several options in front of you.


Become apart of another ministry or join a local church.


Join any YWAM Location across the world to attend a secondary school after DTS or serve as a full-time missionary.


Start University or College knowing who God is and knowing more of what you want to do in life.


DTS teaches you skills needed to thrive in any workplace. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to do a DTS?

DTS is open for high school graduates and older. Yes, we’re called “Youth With A Mission,” but there’s no age cap; many of our staff are well beyond their college years, and we often have students of all types. So whether you’re a married couple, a family with children, retirees, or fresh out of high school, you are welcome!

What topics will be covered during the classroom phase?

Each week we’ll bring in speakers who have experience in ministry and in walking with the Lord. They’ll teach us on a foundational aspect of following Jesus. Our class times are interactive and challenging, focusing on real-life application. Our goal is for the truth to sink deep into our hearts, changing us from the inside out.

Topics include:

  • Intimacy with Jesus
  • How to Hear God’s Voice
  • God-Honoring Relationships
  • Becoming More Like Jesus
  • Knowing and Trusting God’s Character
  • How to Share the Gospel
  • Effective Prayer
  • How to Study and Understand the Bible
  • Healing from Past Hurts
  • Knowing Who You Are in Christ
  • Spiritual Warfare
What does a normal day look like?

While it’s hard to pin down a “normal” day during DTS, you’ll almost always begin your day by doing these two things:

Quiet Time

We start off each morning with time set aside to connect personally with the Lord through prayer and Bible study.


Afterwards, you’ll join your teammates in the classroom where we’ll focus on a different topic each week. Here are some examples of what you’ll learn: 

  • How to Hear God's Voice
  • Healing from Past Hurt
  • How to Study and Understand the Bible
  • Knowing Who You Are in Christ
  • How to Relate to Others
  • How to Share the Gospel
  • And tons more!

You’ll be amazed at how these two daily disciplines will transform how you think and how you interact with God on a daily basis!

Other Weekly Aspects of DTS

After that, each day starts to vary depending on the day of the week. But here are the types of activities you can expect:

Small Groups

These groups of men or women provide an opportunity to build deep friendships while processing what God is doing in their lives, praying for one another, and offering accountability and encouragement. The YWAM staff member who leads your small group will also meet one-on-one with you each week.

Ministry Preparation

You’ll gain the rock-solid confidence to share your faith anywhere, with specific training for the cross-cultural ministry of your DTS mission trip. This often includes creative tools like dramas and music.


These times are the heartbeat of DTS. We’ll gather regularly to direct our hearts and our songs to Jesus, and to pray as he leads us.

Local Ministry

Throughout your DTS you’ll be a part of a smaller ministry team that shows God’s love to Louisville through things like after-school programs, homeless ministry, service, evangelism, and more.

Work Detail

Like most families, our YWAM family works together to see that practical needs are met. As part of your DTS training you’ll be given responsibilities that range from general cleaning to meal prep or yard work.

See more information on the course overview page

How much does DTS cost?
  • September DTS: $3490 tuition + $295 conference fee
  • January DTS: $3390 tuition
  • There’s an additional fee, ranging from $110-190, for the additional resources and training included in DTS electives (like the Music & Worship or the Basketball Elective). Check out our electives page for more details!
  • Please note that the tuition covers the first three months of DTS. The outreach portion is a separate expense. The conference fee covers the cost of a special, week-long conference that you’ll attend.
  • Another note: We have had a 100% success rate in students raising their own money. So if you commit to the fundraising process, we’re confident God will provide! 
  • How to pay for your DTS Tuition
How do I pay for the DTS outreach phase?

DTS outreach costs vary depending on location. If you don’t have all of the funds for your outreach, don’t stress. Our staff don’t raise the money for you, but we will help you raise anything you still need once you get here. And at YWAM Louisville we’ve had a 100% success rate with people who are committed to doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

During DTS, we’ll walk you through a simple process to raise your outreach money. We start by looking at what the Bible says about funding missions and then we lead you through the steps to involve people you already know as sponsors for your outreach. We do this together as a whole team, and we call it the “All for One” approach to funding our outreach.

In the meantime, we’d encourage you to bring whatever funds you may already have toward the mission trip expense and to get in touch with us if you have further questions.

Remember, of the students who commit to the process, 100% of them raise their money every single year – even though to most of them it seems impossible! God always provides. He can and will give you what you need to do what he calls you to do.

Checkout our page on fundraising for DTS and our suggestions

What is a Discipleship Training School (DTS)?

A YWAM DTS is a five-month, in-depth discipleship program that includes a 12-week teaching phase followed by an 8-week mission trip. It’s a “heart-change” course designed to give you a solid foundation of personal growth and relationship with Jesus – whether you’re interested in a career in missions or simply taking time to get to know God better.

Have More Questions?
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