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Should I Do A DTS?

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Have you thought of sharing in a DTS experience all your own? Perhaps you’re hesitant due to cost or the time commitment. Maybe you’ve never heard of DTS. Before deciding if DTS is right for you, here are some basics you should know:

What is a DTS?

DTS stands for “Discipleship Training School.” It’s a fully-immersive program through YWAM (Youth with a Mission) that lasts for five to six months. It consists of two phases: a lecture phase and an outreach phase. During the first half, you’ll dive into the Word of God by learning through in-depth lectures and small groups. You’ll grow closer to God and your fellow teammates. During the outreach phase, you’ll apply your practical knowledge to the field by traveling to one of over 200 global destinations to minister to the unreached through your unique talents.

Sound life-changing? Because it is.

What You’ll Gain Through a DTS

Grow Closer to God

“But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.” – Psalm 1:2

Joining a DTS will remove you from the daily grind. You’ll finally have time to quiet your worldly distractions and focus on God. His Word will come alive before your eyes, and you’ll be transformed from the inside learning His undeniable truths. These will impact the way you view yourself and those around you, simply by changing the way you think. You’ll feel empowered living your everyday life, even long after finishing the program.

Experience Another Culture

“From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” – Acts 17:26

With over 200 destinations across the globe, you’ll experience culture in its rawest form. During your three to four-month outreach, you’ll live the authentic, daily experience of those in your host country. This experience will expand your worldview. You’ll learn to minister to those of a different nation and tongue. You may even learn a new language. What you gain depends on an open mind and a willingness to learn.

Discover Your Spiritual Gifts

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” – 1 Corinthians 12:7

By working on a team during outreach, your talents will naturally shine. Whether you’re entertaining kids or strumming a guitar for worship, you’ll discover what activities energize you. This intercultural experience will cultivate your spiritual gifts so you can use them wherever the Lord leads you. The DTS will challenge you and develop your strengths. Who knows? You might unearth a new passion in the field or change the trajectory of your future upon return. This makes the DTS an excellent program for those interested in taking a gap year.   

Develop Lifelong Friendships

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” – Proverbs 27:17

No matter the size of your DTS program, you’ll work alongside several people from a variety of backgrounds. You’ll live together. Learn from each other; laugh and cry together; serve one another. This intercultural experience will teach patience and as you learn to appreciate one another and rely on each other’s skills. Your teamwork and leadership abilities will naturally grow. With such a unique experience to share, you’re sure to walk away with some lifelong friends.  

If you’re interested in learning more about ministry work or volunteering for a short-term missions trip, consider taking a DTS. It’s only six months, at most, where you’ll focus on God, further His kingdom, and have an unforgettable experience. What do you have to lose?


What do you think? Would you consider joining a DTS? What’s holding you back? We would love to know in the comments, Facebook, or Twitter.

AUTHOR: Skylar Johnson

Skylar loves to write. She’s cruised the Caribbean, sailed the Mediterranean, and toured the United States. Disney inspires her, and she dreams of living in the mountains.

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