YWAM Chico

Discipleship Training Schools (YWAM DTS)

What is a YWAM DTS?

The YWAM DTS, also known as a Discipleship Training School, is our legendary training that takes you deeper into what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  Ultimately, a disciple is someone who follows Jesus.  Following Jesus includes drawing near to Him to really know Him, imitating His character and ways, walking in the new identity that He gives, submitting to His leadership, speaking His words and doing His works.  In YWAM we believe that a disciple also embraces the Great Commission to make Jesus Known among the nations. This 22-week school will immerse you into God’s passionate love for you, connect you with teammates who will become friends for life and equip you to share the story of Jesus with a hurting world.

Four Different YWAM DTSs

At the YWAM DTS location in Chico, California we offer four Discipleship Training Schools: Fall DTS (ages 18-26), Sports and Fitness (ages 18-26), Crossroads (26 and older), and Marriage and Family (Married couples with or without children). 

After reading through this article, which presents the basic information about all of our YWAM DTS programs, click on the specific focus you are interested in for details unique to that school.  

All of our Discipleship Training Schools have two phases: lecture and outreach.

During the Discipleship Training School Lecture Phase you will:  

  • Receive 12 weeks of training at our campus in Chico, California.

  • Learn from a variety of teachers whose stories and insights bring not only head knowledge, but life transformation. Our teachers have all “lived” their message. Topics include: Knowing God and Hearing His Voice, Holy Spirit, Spiritual Warfare, Identity in Christ, How to Share Your Faith, Missions, Seeing Life from God’s Perspective, Building Healthy Relationships, Healing for Life’s Hurts as well as other topics specific to the YWAM DTS focus (see our specific DTS pages).

  • Gain a firm Biblical foundation that you will apply to your own life and ministry wherever God takes you.  

  • Grow in your relationship with God as you spend time alone in daily devotions. 

  • Experience daily worship and prayer times as a school and with our community of full-time missionaries. 

  • Live in an environment where students, staff, teachers and families eat, study, work, and play in close proximity for maximized learning and mentoring opportunities. We sharpen each other, and learn to appreciate one another’s cultures and perspectives. Accommodation and dining for students, staff and volunteers is right on campus. 

  • Serve approximately 10 hours a week alongside other students/staff to help steward our campus well in practical areas.  

  • Reach out in our local community here in Chico, California weekly through times of service and evangelism to prepare for outreach. 

After 12 weeks of training at our campus in Chico, California, the DTS outreach phase will begin! 

Your team will travel to another nation to put into practice the things you learned during the DTS Lecture Phase. This step into cross-cultural missions is a physically, spiritually and emotionally rewarding journey where you serve alongside local believers, existing ministries, and long-term missionaries.  

An especially important aspect to a YWAM DTS outreach is reaching those who do not know Christ. Your specific ministry activities will vary from country to country, but usually include:

  • Various forms of evangelism

  • Practical service projects

  • Preaching in churches

  • Running programs/sports camps for children

  • Sharing your testimony

  • Prayer walking

  • Teaching English

  • Ministering in prisons

  • And more!  

You will see and experience the world in a fresh new way as you step out of your comfort zone and engage with people from other cultures. The outreach phase of a DTS is a perfect first step into missions for those who feel called to missions short or long term.

YWAM DTS Location: Chico, California

Our YWAM DTS location is in Chico, California

Chico is a university city in Northern California.  It is about 2 hours north of Sacramento and less than 90 minutes South of Redding.  

The YWAM campus is one of the largest properties in YWAM (500 acres) and lies in a small canyon in the hills outside Chico.  Once upon a time it was a mineral springs resort built around a historic 7 story brick hotel, which transitioned in the 1960s into a revival center for the Body of Christ. In addition to the many buildings, there are mineral springs, an Olympic-size swimming pool, hiking trails, waterfalls and many great opportunities for community life as well as solitude.

If you enjoy wildlife and the great outdoors, you will love it here.  

4 Reasons to do a DTS with YWAM

  1. To Know God – Jesus said that the essence of eternal life is to know God and to know Jesus Christ whom He has sent (Jn. 17:3).  The great purpose for which we have all been created is to know God intimately.  This “knowing” begins in this life and continues for all eternity.  When you do a DTS with YWAM you will be immersed in an environment that is all about knowing God and growing in your relationship with Him.  From devotional times to teaching and from corporate worship to times of prayer, your entire experience will take you deeper into knowing God and experiencing His love for you. 

  2. To Hear God’s voice – One of the great privileges we have as children of God is to be able to hear His voice.  From Genesis to Revelation God makes it clear that He speaks, and He desires that we learn to recognize what he is saying.  When you do a DTS with YWAM you will not only learn the many ways that God speaks, but you will put into practice hearing His voice and following Him as He shows you what to do, how to pray and where to go.  Hearing God’s voice is a major part of all of our decision making and you will learn to incorporate it into your life as well.
  3. To Make God known – A DTS with YWAM is ultimately aimed at Making Jesus Known throughout the earth so that others can also come to Know God.  If you have been longing to serve God in missions, or simply to try out missions, then the YWAM DTS is for you.  As a DTS team you will be trained, prepared, and sent to Make Jesus Known together in a cross-cultural setting.  You will learn to share your faith with others and to reach out in acts of mercy, compassion, and service to those that need the love of Jesus.  

  4. Find God’s will for your life – Those who are disciples of Jesus desire to know God’s will for their lives. For many the longing to know one’s created purpose is a life-long quest.  During a DTS with YWAM you will grow in understanding your identity in Christ and gain clarity about your gifts and skills.  As you learn to hear God’s voice about many areas of life God will speak to you about your future.  Many people find their calling during a DTS while others at least discover their next step.  Jesus desires to draw you close to His heart and to give you greater insight into who you are and what He has created you to do.


Now that you have a good overview of our Discipleship Training Schools, choose one of the YWAM DTS options above to get specific details about that unique program.

We are excited to journey with you in your next step as you “Join the Adventure!”