YWAM Chico

YWAM DTS: The Ultimate Missions Course!

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.  Following Jesus includes drawing near to Him to really know Him, walking in the new identity that He gives and 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.

How does a DTS work?

YWAM DTS is made up of two phases: classroom (or lecture) phase and outreach phase.  During the lecture phase students live in community and have daily classes. Subjects for the classes fall in three major areas.  The first area is growing in your relationship with God.  The second area is personal identity and relationships with others.  The third area is reaching out to the world.  In addition to the classes, there are worship and prayer times, small groups and mentoring, and service and outreach opportunities.

Following the lecture phase is the outreach phase.  During this phase, students and staff will form teams and travel overseas for ministry and outreach on the mission field.

For more on the lecture and outreach phases, see below.

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.

  • If you have chosen A Track, you will be spending 2-4 focused hours on the specialization.

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

Where is DTS held?

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.


Are all DTSs the same?

All YWAM DTS programs have the same core curriculum and give you you the same experience of knowing God and making Him known.  However, many DTSs add an additional focus or area of interest.

At our Chico campus we offer four different types of DTS.  The Classic DTS (Fall DTS) is designed for young people ages 18-25 and is the legendary program we have run for decades.  The core focus is simply growing as a disciple of Jesus and following Him into world missions.  Our Sports and Fitness DTS is also designed for ages 18-25.  As the name implies there are additional sports and fitness elements in the program.  The Crossroads DTS is for adults 26 years and older and draws together those with a little more life experience around the same themes and ministry.  The Marriage and Family DTS is for married couples with or without kids and has specific elements designed to strengthen marriage relationships.  

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!”