YWAM Marine Reach NZ New Zealand DTS Discipleship Training School
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YWAM DTS Requirements

October 19, 2020 - January 1, 2030

YWAM DTS Requirements

YWAM DTS Requirements – Are There Prerequisites?

A YWAM DTS (Discipleship Training School) is an incredible opportunity that often helps people grow closer to God and find the freedom and transformation they’ve been seeking, but what are the requirements for attending? Are there any prerequisites for acceptance?

Yes, there are a few requirements to being accepted as a student on a YWAM DTS.

Here are 6 fundamental YWAM DTS Requirements:

  1. Must have a genuine desire to grow in your relationship with Jesus
  2. Must have a willingness to learn and be discipled
  3. Must be prepared to be uncomfortable
  4. Must provide a character reference
  5. Must be an adult (at least 18 years old)
  6. Must have a valid passport

As you can probably tell, some of these requirements are simple and straightforward, while others are a little more difficult to nail down. Below, I’ll go into all the details of why these are the basic requirements for a DTS, as well as some common questions and misconceptions around requirements.

YWAM Marine Reach NZ YWAM DTS Requirements
YWAM Marine Reach NZ YWAM DTS Requirements

1) The first and most basic requirement is that you must have a genuine desire to grow in your relationship with Jesus.

The DTS program is designed to meet people where they’re at and help them grow closer to Jesus. Whether you’re close to God or feel far away, if you want to grow closer to Him, then you’re a great candidate for DTS! Throughout your DTS, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to meet with Jesus in new and exciting ways, leading to growth in your relationship with Him, but it is dependent on how much you want it. If you don’t have a genuine desire to grow closer to God, DTS is going to be a very awkward experience. However, if you truly want to find the freedom Jesus offers to those who know and follow Him, then you would definitely meet this requirement. The main way we find out whether you have a genuine desire to grow in God is through our simple, online application process.

YWAM Marine Reach NZ DTS Wild Heart DTS

2) The second requirement is that you must have a heart to learn and be discipled.

YWAM Marine Reach NZ DTS Kingdom Come DTS

Participation in the Discipleship Training School requires that you have a desire to learn what it takes to follow Jesus with everything you are. The word “disciple” means “learner”. If you don’t have a willingness to lay down what you think you know to be shown another way, DTS is going to be a painful experience. The school of discipleship has no room for the proud! However, if your heart is soft, humble, and teachable, and you are hungry to learn more about God and His ways, then you would definitely meet this requirement.

3) The third is that you must be prepared to be uncomfortable.

You most likely already know the things that are holding you back from true freedom and growth in Christ; so why can’t you move on from them? You’ve probably learned to be comfortable with them (or at least it feels easier to cope than to try to be truly free). But Jesus offers a better way: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36). Often we need to lay down our expectations and push beyond what is comfortable to reach that which we truly desire. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. On DTS, you will be challenged to move outside your ‘comfort zone’ in a lot of different ways, so preparing to be uncomfortable is definitely a requirement.

4) Fourthly, you must provide a character reference.

YWAM Marine Reach NZ DTS Leadership & Pioneering DTS

On your DTS, you’ll be paired up with a staff member who will commit to meet with and mentor you throughout the program. It’s important for these school staff to know who you are and where you’re coming from. What the people close to you have to say about you helps to give a balanced picture of you and where you’re coming from. These school staff invest a lot of themselves into the students they mentor, and the fuller picture they have, the better they’ll be able to minister to you. Don’t worry…if you have people in your life who can vouch for your character, you’ll easily meet this requirement.

5) Fifth, you must be an adult.

We get a lot of inquiries from people who are still in secondary school (or younger!), which is amazing, but unfortunately, not realistic. It may be obvious, but since DTS takes place in a full-time, fully immersed, live/learn environment, there is no room for parents. And, since the DTS Outreach takes place overseas, you’ll need to be an adult to travel without your parents. (If you’re interested in doing a DTS together with your family, there actually are a few options around the world for this!). There are a couple more reasons for why we require DTS students to be adults, but they mostly have to do with legalities.


6) Lastly, you must have a valid passport.

YWAM Marine Reach NZ YWAM DTS Requirements

Photo: Chintung Lee/Shutterstock

One of the foundational values of YWAM is to be international. On your DTS, you will likely participate in an overseas outreach, where you’ll be exposed to different cultures, varied standards of living, exotic foods, and incredible ministry opportunities. In order to get there, you’ll need a passport valid for at least 6-months from the beginning of the DTS Outreach. Check with your local passport issuing authority to find out how to get a passport if you don’t already have one.

Common Questions & Misconceptions

“Do I need to have any college or university level training to be accepted on a DTS?”

No! YWAM was born out of the dream to empower and release young people into missions without the heavy burden of a college or university level ministry degree. After a short, 3-month training period on your DTS, you’ll be released into real-life mission work on the field, oftentimes in partnership with long-term ministries around the world. Our DTS students love the opportunity to get first-hand experience on the mission field after such a short time commitment.

“Is there a maximum age limit for DTS students?”

No, technically speaking. Even though YWAM stands for “Youth With A Mission”, and the majority of students we receive typically fall between the ages of 18-25, we’ve seen students of all ages have incredible experiences on our DTSs. So, whether you’re 18 or 85, if you’re young at heart, you’re welcome to join us!

“Will I be required to break up with my boyfriend/girlfriend on my DTS?”

No, you will not be required to break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. However, in the journey of discipleship, we will encourage you to ensure that this significant relationship is under the Lordship of Jesus. Sometimes this means breaking up, sometimes it means staying together…but your DTS leaders won’t force you to break up with anyone. That’s between you and Jesus.


So there you have it. Six foundational requirements for YWAM DTS, and three common misconceptions. If you have more specific questions related to something I haven’t addressed here, feel free to reach out to us. Our friendly Communications Team is always standing by, ready to help you on your discipleship journey. 

If you’d like more information about the DTSs we have available at YWAM Marine Reach, check out our Free DTS Overview Guide, part of the Free DTS Starter Pack, below. Inside, you’ll find heaps of helpful info about how to choose your DTS, as well as some of the more specific information to do with our passion-based DTSs called “Streams”. You’ll be blessed for sure.

Marine Reach YWAM NZ DTS New Zealand Missions Training


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Get ready to go deeper with God than ever before!

Still Got Some Questions?

We get it. DTS is a huge decision. That’s why we’re here to help! Our communications team is standing by.


October 19, 2020
January 1, 2030
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