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Discipleship Training School (DTS)

Next school in 2024 - Dates TBA

DTS is a five month program that combines classroom learning, small group activities, personal reflection, practical service, and community living.

Anytime that you set aside five months to focus solely on God would be amazing! Then add in teachers from all over the world, other students with the same heart and focus, staff who are there just to help you grow, different experiences to challenge you and expose you to new situations, and a time tested curriculum; and you have 5 months that could change the rest of your life!

Come and spend five months with us learning about God, yourself, and how you can fit into God's Kingdom plan!

DTS is split into two phases; lecture phase and outreach phase. Together they embody YWAM’s mission to "Know God (lecture phase) and make Him known (outreach phase)."

DTS Menu

Lecture Phase

Lecture Phase

The lecture phase entails three months of training here at our base in Santiago. You will live in our YWAM house along with the other students and some staff in our missions community. In YWAM we recognize that learning and growth doesn't just happen in the classroom, but by living life together!

There are twelve weeks of lecture phase and each week you will have a different speaker and topic. Some are flown in from other countries and some are from here on the island. These speakers are YWAM missionaries, pastors, and mature Christian leaders that we have formed relationships with, and who we greatly trust and respect. Each of them teaches on what they know and do well! Everything that we teach is all Bible based. We desire to not only teach biblical principles, but to make the teaching real and practical in a way that you can apply to your life and share with others. We want to be transformed by truth, but in order to do that we need to know God in a real, deep, and personal way.

This DTS will also have more of an outdoor/adventure focus! As a base we run outdoor adventure camps and have a property in the mountains (NIKOland). In this school you will get to be a part of our NIKO camp, at least one overnight hiking trip, spending several of the weeks during lecture phase up at our mountain property, and doing some hiking and river exploring. This won't be a daily part of the school, but we will spend one week a month up at NIKOland and we are planning one larger outdoor activity as a school each month. You don't need to be an experienced mountaineer for this school, but an appreciation and desire to spend time in the outdoors is essential!

Each week in DTS will have many of the same elements even as we change speakers and topics. Below are some of the elements that make up a normal week in the DTS lecture phase!


Each week will have a different topic and speaker. Some of the topics may include:

Nature & character of God, Hearing God's Voice, Biblical worldview, Evangelism,

Relationships, Repentance & Forgiveness, Leadership, Missions, and more!


This is at the center of who we are as YWAM. We need to connect with God and seek His heart for situations, nations, people groups, our own lives, and more. We will have corporate times of both prayer and of intercession for others.

Prayer & Intercession

We will begin our days by seeking God individually in our own personal devotion times. This is often something believers want to have, but have a hard time doing. We will make time to create healthy habits as we seek God before anything else!

Personal Devotions

You will have a staff member that is your designated 1-on-1 for the entire DTS. You will meet weekly to give you the  opportunity to further process what God is doing, receive prayer and more!

1-on-1 Discipleship

Book reports & weekly journals will help you to process and apply what you are learning. These are not difficult, but do take time and thought. DTS is a University of the Nations course. So you will be graded, pass/fail, on assigned work.


As part of the DTS you will get to do NIKO! Or if you have already done it, to staff NIKO. NIKO is a leadership development and missions training program  (See the NIKO page for more info.)


A large part of who we are as YWAM Santiago includes adventure and the outdoors! One week a month we will have classes up at our property in the mountains. We will also take time each month for hiking, exploring, camping, etc! Come prepared to adventure with us!


Throughout the lecture phase we will also take times to do outreach in our local community in Santiago. It is a way that we can practice for outreach even as we bless people close to us! This could involve evangelism, partnering with other ministries, sports, etc.

Local Outreach

Each week we will take time to prepare for the outreach. What we do in this time will depend on the outreach location. It can include learning dramas, preparing youth programs, preparing testimonies, learning local customs, writing teachings, learning about evangelism, and more!

Outreach Prep
Outreach Phase

Outreach Phase


Following the three months of lecture phase, we will head off on an eight-week outreach to put into practice all the things we have learned. As a student you have the opportunity to ‘make God known’ in the outreach phase. Even as we learn and grow, we are called to share that with others! Outreach is where we take the theory and make it practical. You will be challenged to put into practice what you learned in lecture phase. We recognize that in order to learn, you not only have to hear, but to do!

Outreach is all about being the hands and feet of Jesus. Not only sharing the gospel, but sharing hope, God's love, and discipling others. We can't tell you exactly where we will be going or doing as each outreach is different! What stays the same is that it is an amazing adventure that you will never forget! In the space of one week you might be leading a church service, helping to build a house, running children's programs, painting, and sharing testimonies and dramas in a school. We always head on outreach with a basic idea and plan, but it will often change from day-to-day as God provides new opportunities or things change on the ground. You may go to one nation on your outreach, or split your time between two nations.

Outreach is an exhilarating time of risk and adventure, as we serve with local believers: transforming lives and impacting society with the love of Jesus Christ. Whatever nation we go to, we partner with local churches and YWAM ministries to strengthen their ministry and provide for follow up discipleship. We desire to partner with long-term organizations in the nation, in order to have the greatest possible impact.


Outreach Phase

$2,000 usd*

$1,000 usd*

Ground Fees

*These prices are an ESTIMATE only. Outreach prices vary by location. You will be charged the actual cost of the trip. These price estimates are based on past years.

Lecture Phase

$3,200 usd

Lecture Phase

This covers your housing, meals, and course tuition.


If you are from the Dominican Republic, or a developing nation, please get in touch with us and ask us about available scholarships.

We are able to offer a slightly reduced tuition for some developing nations.

Commonly Asked Questions

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

DTS is open for high school graduates or those who have turned 18, and older. We are called “Youth With A Mission,” but there’s no age cap! So whether you’re a married couple, a family with children, retirees, or fresh out of high school, you are welcome!

What will the housing be like?

You will be staying at the YWAM house that is here in the city. It is a two story, five bedroom house. You will be sharing a bedroom with a few other DTS students. Common areas are shared by everyone; living room, dining room, kitchen, and outdoor porches. You will have access to a washing machine as well, but will need to buy your own laundry soap. At least one staff will also be living in the house with you. Meals will be eaten in the house as well. This community style of living isn’t just a matter of convenience or budget-stretching. It is a part of who we are: God has called us to deep relationship and day-to-day discipleship.

What language will the DTS be in?

This partly depends on the students that we have. However, we expect that the school will be run bilingually; in Spanish and English. So all students need to be fluent in either Spanish or English for this DTS.

Will I get time off during DTS?

Keep in mind that DTS is not your typical university setting: it will require all of your attention and most of your time. Some evenings and weekends will be scheduled with ministry or other training-related activities. Many evenings and weekends, however, may be available for students to study, relax, or hang out together.

Can I get college credit for my DTS?

The Discipleship Training School comes under the umbrella of YWAM’s University of the Nations, and you will receive 20 credits upon successfully completing the course. An increasing number of colleges in the United States accept U of N transfer credits; contact specific institutions to find out their policy.

Is YWAM part of a denomination?

YWAM is interdenominational, which means that YWAMers come from all kinds of church backgrounds and traditions. We believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and our training is grounded in its principles. You can read about our beliefs and values here for more details.


Do I need to attend church during my DTS?

We require all of our students to commit to a local church during DTS. You’re free to choose which church you attend, but there are some weeks where we may all go to a certain church as a school. 

How many students will be in the DTS?

This all depends on how many apply! We are aiming for between 5-10 students. We are a small base, so we run small schools! The DTS becomes much more of a "family" this way and allows for everyone to get close and real with each other.

Financial Questions

What does DTS tuition cover?

Tuition covers all of your training, food, housing, books, and transportation to and from official DTS functions. (Not your travel to the DTS.) Incidental expenses like personal snack food, doctor’s visits, free day activities, etc. will be your own responsibility.

Can people who give towards my DTS receive a tax deduction?

YWAM does not issue tax-deductible receipts for tuition as you are receiving a service from that money. Many incoming students arrange for their home churches to process financial support for them so that donors can receive a tax deduction. That is up to individuals and churches, it is not something that we are able to assist with.

How do I pay my DTS tuition?

If you live in the Dominican Republic it can be transferred or deposited to our Banca Santa Cruz account. Otherwise you can pay in cash (Either Dominican pesos or USD.)

For those outside of the Dominican Republic there are a few options. #1: It can be wired to our bank account. #2: It can be paid online with a credit card, however you would need to also pay the 2.5% processing fee. #3: You can send a check to a US ministry that processes funds for us, however you would need to also pay the 1.5% processing fee. #4: You can pay in US cash when you arrive. (With prior communication and approval from the school leader.)

When is the tuition due by?

Once accepted you will receive an information packet with more information. However the lecture phase tuition is due by the first week of the school, and the outreach funds are due before the beginning of outreach.

What is the currency in the Dominican Republic? How can I get money?

The currency in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Pesos (DOP). Currently the exchange is around $1usd = $57dop.

If you bring US Dollars with you, it can be used to pay for your tuition, and can also be exchanged at a bank. You can withdraw money from ATM's here as well, but you may want to check with your bank first to see what their fees are. The limit per transaction here is $20,000 dop (around $350 usd). Credit cards are accepted at all major stores, just check and see if yours has a fee for foreign transactions. You will need local cash for small stores and public transportation.

How much spending money will I need for DTS?

We’ll provide food, housing, books, and transportation to school functions. Miscellaneous expenses like snacks, special dietary needs, doctor’s visits, outings in your free time, etc will be your own responsibility. You will be fine with $10 a month if all you plan on getting is a few snacks and maybe taking the bus for some sightseeing. If you plan for $100 a month you should have more than enough for snacks, a few meals out, and some free day activities. A bag of chips is around $.50, a bottle of soda $.30, a meal at McDonalds $6, bus to the city center $.25, Uber to the city center $3, and fried chicken with fries is $4.


Where will we go on outreach for DTS?

It has not currently been decided, and may not be until after the school begins. We prayerfully handpick international locations for each DTS. The school leaders spend months in prayer; seeking God's will for that school. We also give attention to the giftings and passions of each team as well as the needs of the locations where we minister. Our goal is to be a blessing where we go, and for each student to be both stretched and fulfilled by a variety of ministry activities. Past DTS outreaches have gone to South America, The Middle East, and the Caribbean.


What is the DTS outreach like?

Once the twelve-week teaching phase of DTS has wrapped up, you’ll take what you have learned and put it into practice in a ministry setting. You’ll share the message of Christ through performing arts, acts of mercy, service, and friendships with people who don’t know Him. Each nation and outreach setting is different so ministry activities can vary greatly. Our goal is to take the name of Jesus to places where the Gospel is not readily available and share the message of hope in a compelling way.

Are the DTS outreach locations safe?

Of course we can’t guarantee anyone’s safety, anywhere in the world. But we do take seriously our responsibility for students on our outreach teams, and we don’t take unnecessary risks. We stay in close communication with our contacts in each outreach location so that they can let us know of any situation we need to be aware of. We also prepare our teams to be aware of cultural differences and security precautions.

Is the outreach required?

Yes. Even though the DTS is broken up into two phases, you need to do both parts. Outreach is required in order to complete your DTS experience and receive credits with the University of the Nations.

Why don't you have an exact cost listed for the outreach?

It all depends on the actual expense of the trip. What you pay is the cost of housing, food, transportation, visas, ministry supplies needed, etc. Some bases have a fixed price, but that usually means that you end up paying more. Once the outreach location is decided and we know how many students will be doing the school we get can specific numbers for the ground fees.


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