FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I apply, or join YWAM?
A: You can serve with YWAM on a mission trip, as a student, or as a staff member or volunteer. To join as staff, you must first complete a Discipleship Training School (DTS), which is offered in over 600 locations around the world. YWAM has no centralized application process. You can search on the YWAM location website you are interested in to check out what they require. You can then ask specific questions, including how to fill out their application forms.
Q: Do I have to do a DTS to join YWAM?
A: All full-time volunteer staff with YWAM have successfully completed a Discipleship Training School, it’s a prerequisite to being part of the team. The DTS is an opportunity for an individual to not only develop their relationship with the Lord, but also to see first-hand how YWAM operates and explore a personal calling to mission, whether within YWAM or with a different mission agency!
Q: What is the Discipleship Training School (YWAM DTS) and how do I find one?
A: The Discipleship Training School (DTS), YWAM’s five-month introductory training program. It’s a full-time program of learning who God made you to be, and what He wants you to do, all in a community environment.
Q: What does the DTS cost?
A: DTS fees vary from one YWAM location to another. The fees usually cover housing and food as well as the costs of the training itself. Usually transportation to the training program and back home at the end is not included in these fees. You can ask them about tuition, outreach fees, scholarships, and special rates they might have for couples, families, single parents, or people from the majority world.
Q: What does the schedule look like on a DTS?
A: Each day you will have activities such as morning exercises, family chores, lectures, work duties, (general duties around the base) and evening activities. There are also weekly corporate events such as the base worship, evangelism, and Community night weekly meetings you will participate in. Your weekends may have some school activities but will generally be free for you to explore the city and have some study time.
Q: Is outreach required?
A: Yes, successful completion of the outreach phase of your school is REQUIRED for all DTS’s and most further accredited training.
Q: Where will I go for my outreach phase and how is that decided?
A: Your school leader will pray over options for outreach locations and these will be communicated early in the school, or beforehand if already set. Most DTS’s will have more than one option for you to pray about and some will go as one team on outreach. Some teams will serve in multiple locations on outreach and others may focus on one location for the whole three months.
Q: What are the requirements to be accepted to a DTS?
A: Our Discipleship Training Schools are designed to provide an opportunity for anyone to get involved in world missions. We do not require college degrees, work experience, or a seminary background. You do need to be at least 18 years of age (or 17 years old & a high school graduate) to apply for a DTS. Apart from the age requirement, we only ask that you fill out a simple application to be evaluated by the leaders of the DTS. If you’re passionate for God and are ready to be challenged by Him, then you are ready for a DTS!
Q: Do YWAM training programs like the DTS provide credit for other universities?
A: The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is one of the YWAM courses registered with YWAM’s University of the Nations (UofN). The UofN offers credits for the DTS which can be applied to U of N degrees (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s). Students receive 12 credit hours for the DTS lecture phase and 8 to 12 credit hours for the outreach phase. Also, some UofN students have received transfer credit for some of their UofN courses. This credit has been granted by other higher educational institutions rather than by accrediting agencies. Also, certain universities have accepted UofN degree graduates into advanced studies (usually Master’s programs).
Q: Do I need to do a DTS first before doing a second level school?
A: Yes. A 24 credit University of the Nations recognised DTS is a preliminary requirement before you can do other second level schools or join staff. Some schools in some locations may be open to some non-DTS participants who want to get some further training to serve in their church or ministry, this is to be discussed with the school leadership.
Q: Are there opportunities for me to get involved after completing my DTS?
A: Yes, you may continue onto further training programs or join staff in the YWAM base or at any of the YWAM bases/ministries around the world!
Q: If I join the YWAM staff, will I get paid?
A: Everyone in YWAM, from our founders, Loren & Darlene Cunningham, to every DTS trainee all rely on God for provision. This means that no one is salaried, but receives gifts from family, friends and churches who support them financially in their calling to mission.
Q: I have children, can I bring my family with me?
A: Yes. We believe that families, and not just individuals, have a calling in missions to serve together as a family. Please contact the base you’re interested in for further details.
Q: Is DTS offered in any other languages than English?
A: Yes! DTS schools are offered in many languages all over the world. Contact any of our centres for their options
Q: Is this mission only for young people or only focused on young people?
A: Youth With A Mission began as an organization to help young people get involved in the global purposes of God and this will always be a primary focus for YWAM. However, many people join YWAM as a second career or after retirement. Some of YWAM’s Discipleship Training Schools (DTS) specifically focus on providing mission training for families or older students. To find a DTS like this, go to the search bar above and type in “All Ages” or “Crossroads.”
Q: How can I give a donation to a YWAM staff person or student?
A: Since YWAM staff do not get paid, they rely on the generosity of people like you to be able to serve God through YWAM. If you would like to give a donation to a YWAM worker, student, or ministry, please contact the base or ministry where they serve.
Q: What is YWAM’s statement of faith?
A: YWAM exists to know God and make Him known. All of our locations are expected to agree to and demonstrate YWAM’s foundational beliefs and values. YWAM’s Discipleship Training School (YWAM DTS) teaches these beliefs and models these values. As YWAM welcomes Christians from hundreds of different denominations, we do not have our own statement of faith, but we subscribe to the Lausanne Covenant.
Q: Who is the leader of YWAM and what is the leadership structure of the organization?
A: YWAM was founded in 1960 by Loren and Darlene Cunningham. Today it operates as a family of ministries.
Q: Can you help me locate a person who is currently in YWAM or was at some time?
A: YWAM does not have an international administrative office that maintains a database of every YWAM staff person and all YWAM alumni. If you want to connect with a person in YWAM, please contact the location they work with directly or their last known location. Another avenue is to try social networking sites like the YWAM Facebook page.
Q: Do I need to apply for health insurance?
A: Yes, all international students and staff will be required to have health insurance when coming to Switzerland. For all student visas, the Swiss government requires that you have valid Health Insurance before you can be granted a Student Visa. Your base registrar will communicate the price to you and will organize your enrollment. For other visas, various insurance companies are accepted. This information will be provided by the base registrar upon acceptance, and you will organize your enrolment. For more information about health insurance, please contact the base you’re interested to join.
Q: Isn’t YWAM a cult?
A: In short, no! YWAM doesn’t fit easily into the boxes that some people may have for Christian institutions. It is a movement made up of individuals from all over the world, from all kinds of church backgrounds and denominations. Whilst we often live in a community setting, we are not in any way shut off from society and all of our beliefs are aligned to mainstream Christianity. Those on staff here at most bases are all connected with a local church that they attend regularly and get involved with. It may be helpful to consider YWAM as more like a modern monastic-style community, with shared beliefs and engaging in outreach both locally and internationally, often partnering with local churches and other Christian ministries.