The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is a life changing course for people over the age of 18 who want to discover more of God and how to apply their faith to their lives. The DTS gives people from any background the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and explore how their passions and gifts can be used to see lives transformed by Jesus. 

Our school is a 7 month fulltime residential course that is part training and part application. The training phase takes place in Bristol with a midterm, 2 week outreach, followed by a longer international outreach phase. 

At YWAM Bristol we are passionate about providing a safe environment for you to explore more of who Jesus is. Through our DTS we aim to provide excellent training and discipleship that will help you grow in your Christian walk as well as creating new ways to reach our neighbourhoods with the gospel.

Since YWAM Bristol started in 2013 the three main areas we have been ministering in are the areas of arts, youth and reaching those on the margins of society. This is why our DTS has those three tracks running through them.


Training Phase

The training phase of the DTS is focused on knowing God. Who does the Bible say He is?  How can we have relationship with Him?  How do we communicate with Him?  Who is Jesus, and why did He need to die?  What does it mean for God to be Father?  Who is the Holy Spirit? Through these foundational topics we get to explore the vastness of God.  We also look at who we are. Why did God create us? What does it mean to be ‘free in Christ’?  What is sin and how do I deal with it?  

From that basis of understanding we then explore what Missions is and how we can share our faith in fruitful ways.  How can we communicate God to our society and how can we lead others into a deeper understanding of the love of Jesus?

All of this is wrapped around plenty of worship, prayer, small groups and one-on-one discipleship as we learn how to follow Jesus as a community.

When you apply for our DTS you will be asked which track you want to be on.  Arts. Youth. Margins.  These tracks will be running right through the DTS training phase and each week you will have two sessions within your track.  One session will be training, the second session will be hands on ministry experience. The aim of these tracks is to equip you and give you ministry experience in your chosen track. You will learn how to create a safe space where people can experience love and acceptance and through that be able to help those you meet experience and explore faith in Jesus.

Outreach Phase

The outreach phase focuses on making God known. Living out and sharing all that God has taught us in the training phase.  We have a midterm, 2 week outreach that will be to a location close to Bristol, followed by a longer trip into a cross cultural environment. We will most likely stay within Europe, our last school went to Ukraine, Hungary & Greece.  
 During these times we will partner with local ministries to share our faith and reach into that community with the love of Jesus. On a typical DTS outreach some of the things you might do are; teaching/preaching, leading kids & youth ministry/camps, creative evangelism, and practical projects, as well as using arts or sports.

After our international outreach we will return to Bristol to debrief our experience before preparing for track focused ministry.  The Youth Track will lead a teen mission trip back into Europe as part of YWAM England’s Mission Adventures program. The Arts and Margins tracks will remain in Bristol and be part of reaching out at Europe’s largest Street art festival, ‘UpFest’, which we have been part of for years, as well as creating new ministries to reach into our community.  After these two weeks of ministry we will come back together to celebrate what God has done, debrief our experience and prepare to finish the DTS in style before heading back home.  We would be so excited to have you on this journey, reaching into and impacting our city!


Dates and costs

Our fees cover all your accommodation, three meals a day as well as all your teachers and resources for training and ministry.  A couple of trips we make as a school are included so you get to enjoy our city and the surrounding areas.  You need to get yourself to Bristol as well as your return journey home, including any visas or vaccinations recommended by your doctor.  Before we issue your visa we must have evidence that you have travel insurance including repatriation cover.   

Due to the nature of the Youth Track, there will be an extra cost for the flights for the teen mission trip towards the end of the DTS.  This will be communicated to you at the start of the school and will be due before international outreach. 

Your accommodation for the course will be community style living with other trainees & staff on the DTS within walking distance of the YWAM hub where the training will take place. This is an intentional part of the live-learn environment that is vital to the DTS. Living in community means that you will be expected to be part of the running of the home, including keeping the home tidy and being part of dinner preparation and clean up.

We recommend that you aim to raise an extra £100 per month for your time on DTS. Although this is not vital, as your living costs are included in your DTS fees. This extra will enable you to explore Bristol, enjoy the vast choice of café’s in the city, catch a movie as well as enjoy blessing others.

When you apply, there is a £35 application fee followed by a £250 deposit once your application has been successful. The rest of the school fees will be due on arrival with outreach fees due at the start of April.

For those outside of the UK, we will also guide you through the visa process once you have been accepted.

If you have any questions, please feel free to message us through Facebook or email us at info@ywambristol.org.  We’d love to talk to you.

Choosing your DTS...

YWAM Bristol’s DTS is not for the faint hearted. You will grow, you will have an adventure with God the like of which you’ve never had before, and it will be tough, it will stretch you and challenge you. This is not just a course about developing our understanding and our knowledge, this school is also about developing your character to enable you to live like Jesus. DTS doesn’t just stand for Discipleship Training School, it also stands for Die To Self.
Jesus calls us to take up our crosses daily, He invites us to let go of our dreams, our desires and our perceived rights, so that we can pick up something of far greater worth. He invites us to truly live a life that reflects Him in every way.
As we pursue Jesus with our whole hearts and as we give our lives to Him we will quickly hear ourselves say ‘there is nothing more important to me than Jesus and what He wants to do on this earth!’, and this is what we are inviting you to. Come and give Jesus these few months of your life, be ready to try new things, be prepared to be pushed, healed and loved by God in ways you’ve never thought about, and come ready to be used powerfully by Him.

We are deeply excited for this school as we know that God is going to impact lives and reveal destiny to us, but He will also impact the city we love, He will feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick and put the lonely in families.

The YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) offers a unique time in your life to focus on who God made you to be, and what He wants you to do. But YWAM offers a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing your DTS. How do you narrow down your choices?

Here are some questions to ask yourself, and to pray over and discuss with your parents, your pastor and trusted counsellors:

What kind of cultural experience do you want?

Do you want to stay and train in your home nation or do you want to go for a totally cross-cultural experience?

Would you prefer to join a large, well-established YWAM location with a larger DTS or do you feel called to be part of a smaller pioneering focused team?

For more thoughts on these questions have a look at www.ywam.org/training/how-do-i-chose-a-dts. If you would like help finding a DTS that is right for you in YWAM England email us on info@ywambristol.org. Or you can explore our YWAM England page www.ywamengland.org or our international page www.ywam.org.

Raising support for a DTS...

We have been in missions for a very long time and over the years we are constantly amazed at the way God provides for us.  When you are new to raising financial support it can feel really daunting.  But we want to encourage you. Not only is it possible, it’s also really biblical.  There are loads of fantastic resources out there and if your application has been successful we will start to coach you in the principles as well as some methods we’ve found helpful.  One tool that we love is the book ‘Funding the Family Business’. It’s written by a friend of ours and is packed full of fantastic values. There are also loads of brilliant training workshops happening near you.  Jump onto google and type in ‘living by support workshops’ and put in your nation or your part of the world (e.g. East Africa/Central America) and you’ll be amazed at what you see.
Remember, you are not asking people for money, you are inviting friends to partner with you as you pursue your calling to know God and make Him known. You are asking your family and your church to invest in your growth in God to make a difference in the world.