YWAM Marine Reach NZ New Zealand DTS Discipleship Training School
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What Is A Discipleship Bible School?

October 19, 2020 - January 1, 2030

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What Is A Discipleship Bible School?

What Is A Discipleship Bible School?

The Discipleship Bible School (DBS) at Marine Reach is a three-month course devoted to studying and reading through all sixty-six books of the bible in chronological order. In just twelve weeks, you will gain a greater understanding of God’s perspective and heart, leaving you with a lasting hunger for the Word. During this time, you will learn about the historical settings and genre of each book, study specific topics taught by knowledgeable speakers, and engage in worship, intercession, and small group bible studies. This school will better equip you to absorb and apply the Word of God to your life and others.

But since this is all information you can find on the DBS page on our website, maybe you want to know a little more. Maybe you’re asking, “Okay, I think I’m starting to get it, but what is it really?”

You probably already have some expectations when you hear the words ‘School’, ‘Bible’, or ‘Discipleship’. So let’s take a deeper look at each of those three words and what they mean for us at Marine Reach in connection with the DBS.

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‘Discipleship’ in the DBS

Surprisingly, the main focus of the DBS is not the bible. The main focus is discipleship. During the DBS, we study the bible so that we become more faithful disciples of Jesus. It is the main tool we use, and we use it in a more intense way than you’re probably used to, but we don’t abandon other tools for discipleship. In fact, we incorporate singing corporately in worship, interceding together, living in a community that loves each other, and many other tools, all designed to help us follow Jesus’ example.

The focus of the DBS is just that: following Jesus. Not just learning the things he taught, but also putting them into practice (Matt. 28:20). We look through the whole bible, finding examples that act as instructions (1 Cor. 10:11) to us on how to follow Jesus faithfully. The entire bible is full of lessons we can apply to our own lives.

But discipleship is not just about following; it is about following Jesus. Discipleship is all about who we are following: Jesus – the one who is fully God and fully man. Therefore, one theme we study during the DBS is the character and nature of God. We ask questions like, “Who is God, and how does he act towards mankind and creation as a whole?” We also focus on Jesus in the 4 gospels for an entire week and study all the amazing things he says and does.

Another theme we dive into is God’s redemptive plan and how we are all part of that plan. Walking out our part in God’s redemptive plan is just another way of saying ‘following Jesus’ or ‘discipleship’.

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“We study the bible so that we become more faithful disciples of Jesus.”

‘Bible’ in the DBS

During the DBS, we read the whole bible together, out loud, in groups. We read all of it; we don’t skip a chapter, verse, or letter. Every part of the bible is valuable to us, as we believe it to be the very word of God and God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). In the mornings, we listen to inspired teaching together. Asking questions and engaging with the invited teachers is one of our favourite things to do because they know the bible and Jesus in a special way. This is also a time where we get to know the world of the bible better. For example, we learn about the cultural and historical context of each book, learning how to view the text as the authors intended. The teachers, however, are not just people that know the text well, but they also have a proven track record of following Jesus in their own lives.

We take the bible to be the authoritative word of God; a loving God who has revealed Himself in many ways, one of which is the bible. What a gift the bible is, and what a joy to study in such a way that we can encounter God through it! Consider what Jesus said: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…” (John 5:39). We do not find eternal life in the text of the bible, but the bible does reveal and give witness to the One who offers eternal life.

The bible is the place we can go to see God’s redemptive plan. It takes us from the beginning (Genesis) all the way to the culmination (Revelation). This grand narrative of how God wants to redeem us is something we highlight throughout the bible during DBS.

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‘School’ in DBS

The goal of the DBS is not to give you head knowledge for head knowledge sake. We do love to teach the bible, equipping you to learn how to use your bible more faithfully. But it’s more important to us that you gain deeper personal knowledge of God. The goal is for all who participate in the DBS to know God more.

In the classroom, you will learn about different kinds of genres in the bible, Hebrew literary structures, authorship debates, and all sorts of other fun things. But we only teach you these things so that when you read, study, or teach the bible, you will do so in a way that more accurately displays God as he truly is.

During the DBS, we also have homework and a final presentation. These are not there to simply test your knowledge, like a final exam. Partly, we give homework so that the material you learn will stick better. But more importantly, as you work your way through the assignments, you will begin to see how the bible is relevant for today, for you, and for your relationship with Jesus.

‘School’ can make it sound like ‘academics’. But the DBS is so much more than that. The DBS will help you discover God’s redemptive plan for us all through learning more about the bible! Whether during a lecture or scripture reading, you will be in awe of God’s love and mercy as you witness his redemptive plan at work in the bible.


In short, Discipleship (following Jesus) is the main goal, the Bible is what we focus on as the tool to grow in following Jesus, and School is the structure within which we study the bible for the purpose of following Jesus.

So that is the heart of the Discipleship Bible School!

Are you interested in doing the DBS with us? We certainly would love to have you join us as we discover more of God in the bible. Contact us here for more details or if you have any other questions.

Also if you are interested in strengthening your faith and growing as a disciple, we also offer the transformational Discipleship Training School.

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October 19, 2020
January 1, 2030
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