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Frequently Asked Questions




What is involved in a Discipleship Training School (DTS)?

This full-time, live-in, intensive training course begins with a 12 week classroom/lecture phase followed by an 8 week outreach abroad. The first step towards a DTS is to send in your completed application and $35 application fee so we can process it as soon as possible.

Why should you attend a DTS in Pittsburgh?

Being located strategically in the city, we are presented with diverse ministry opportunities. Pittsburgh’s urban, international, and college neighborhoods offer our students unique community experiences. From the start, we are immersed in our neighborhoods practicing the tract specificsWe don’t wait for the Outreach Phase to get our feet wet. Our missionaries are passionate about helping others find their hope in Jesus as we seek to know Him better and provide others an opportunity to as well. Our staff and students agree there is never a dull moment living an adventure with God in Pittsburgh. 


What are the requirements for a DTS? 

You must: 

•  Be at least 17 years of age or older with a high school diploma or a “Certificate of High School Equivalency” (Ex. GED) 

•  Speak the English language proficiently 

•  Complete all application forms in order to be considered for acceptance

•  Additional requirements can be found on the Tract Specific pages.


How much does a DTS cost? 

There are two phases that make up a DTS.

The first phase is lecture. It costs $3200 USD in addition to the $35 application fee. This includes all of your food, housing, books, transportation, etc., and is due at the start of the school.

The second phase is outreach. It costs $3500 USD. This includes airfare, transportation, visas (if necessary), food and housing during the outreach time.

Both phases must be completed in order to receive graduate credit. 

The total cost for any DTS Tract is $6,735 USD.


How can you raise money to attend a DTS? 

There are many ways to raise the required finances for your DTS. If you need help raising money, please contact us for fundraising ideas. We can also provide you with a sample support letter that you can send out to friends, family, pastors, businesses, and other locals that explains your need and details how the aid will be used. Let's trust God together for His faithfulness in provision! 

Click here for a list of fundraising ideas to get you started.

What VISA should an International Student apply for?

Once you have received acceptance to our DTS, you will be provided a special letter with which formal application for a B-1 Visa can be made in a US Consulate or Embassy. Full details will be given to you once accepted.

Please do not apply for any visas without our acceptance letter.

How do you get involved in a DTS? 

You can fill out your DTS application online. A downloadable version is also available for you to print out, complete and mail in. Go to DTS APPLICATIONS to access. You can also email us at or call us at (412) 996-3823 for more information. We look forward to connecting with you! 

What advice do you have for parents of a prospective DTS student?

The idea of a YWAM DTS differs from other Christian program in many ways. First, continue reading through our FAQ to find answers to your undoubtedly many questions. Second, read Debi’s article “Parenting a YWAMer” to hear first-hand lessons from a YWAM mom.





Where will you live? 

During the lecture phase, students will live in our YWAM apartment building located less than a mile from our Ministry Center, where classes are held.


What does the life of a DTS student look like during the lecture phase? 

7:15 am - Breakfast 

7:45 am - Devotions 

8:00 am - Time alone with the Lord 

9:00 am - Worship, Intercession, or Creative presentations 

10:00 am -Teaching session (Each week will feature a different speaker on a different topic) 

12:15 pm - Lunch 

1:00 pm - Free time or Work duties 

3:00 pm - Teaching session, Performance practice, or Free time 

5:15 pm - Dinner 

6:00 pm - Free time, Work duties, Performance practice or Local outreach 


What are some of the Lecture topics? 

Some of the interesting topics you will delve into include: 

•  Hearing God’s Voice 

•  The Nature & Character of God 

•  The Father Heart of God - His Heart for You & the World 

•  Inductive Bible Study 

•  Biblical Worldview & Apologetics 

•  Destiny by Design - Finding God's purpose for your life  

•  World Missions - Taking the Gospel to the Nations 

•  Cross Cultural & Forefront Evangelism 

•  Christian Rights Around the World 

•  And much more! 





What does the life of a DTS student look like during the outreach?

The outreach phase focuses on applying what you learned in the classroom through an intense, cross-cultural experience. The schedule really depends on the type of ministry we are focusing on, the culture we are in, and the people we are aiming to reach.

We strategically aim to partner with local international churches for two main reasons: the first being to build up and equip the church to be effective in their communities and the second to have a group to provide follow-up and discipleship for the new believers we leave behind in their area.

Typically, we minister through different venues of the arts, and sports as well as each DTS using their tract focus to do evangelism, street witnessing, and follow up. In addition, we often help minister in feeding programs, orphanages, homeless shelters, and (if the country we are in allows us) public and private schools. It’s common for God to open a door we weren’t expecting to minister in a new form or location. It’s a wild ride!


Daily Schedule

8:00- Breakfast/ Devotions/ Quiet Time/ Worship

10:00- Outreach

12:00- Lunch

1:00- Outreach

5:00- Dinner

6:00- Outreach, Church Service or Church Training

9:30 - Daily Debrief


Where will your outreach be?

Your outreach destination will be determined prayerfully by your school staff. Many times the students are involved in the prayer process of deciding where to go on outreach. Usually one week of the outreach will be state-side and the rest will be in one or more countries abroad. Past outreaches have taken us to Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Belize, El Salvador, Liberia, Ghana, Namibia, Israel, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, China, India, Thailand, South Korea, Fiji, Samoa, Cuba and others we are not free to name on public media.


What is a Debriefing?

By the time outreach ends, you will have seen and experienced a lot of new things. We will hold a debrief time at the end of outreach to regroup, share stories of how God moved, and process what God did through you and others during the DTS. It’s also a time to explore your next steps after DTS.





What can you do after completing the DTS? 

The possibilities are endless. Not everyone completing a DTS necessarily joins YWAM as a full-time missionary. Many participate in a DTS to take time out to concentrate on God and consider whether He might be calling them to Christian ministry. And for others, DTS is simply a tool in deepening an existing walk with Jesus. For those who choose to go on into a career with YWAM, successful completion of the DTS qualifies them to apply for hundreds of staff opportunities. Graduating from the DTS also qualifies students to go on to YWAM's second-level training programs, such as those offered by YWAM's University of the Nations. Keep in mind, that some Christian colleges also accept credits from the DTS course.