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Discipleship Training: A Student's Perspective

Mar 18, 2024 11:45:00 AM

Since 1978, YWAM Salem has welcomed hundreds of students to our beautiful campus just outside of Salem, Oregon. With our diverse programs, including our flagship experience discipleship training school (DTS), we aim to help young believers take control of God's plan for their lives, whether they want to be powerful church leaders, baristas, photographers, or a part of the corporate workforce.

Whatever sphere of society calls to you, our DTS will help you experience God in every moment so you can become a lifelong disciple of Jesus. Making disciples is what we do. But at our core, we're more than a discipleship training community, we're a group of like-minded peers invested in each other's faith journeys.

So, who better to talk about our unparalleled missions training experience than a DTS student who was called by the Holy Spirit to participate in a past DTS? Read on to learn more about our Christian ministry experiences and a first-person testimonial.

What is Discipleship Training School?

Embark on a transformative journey with YWAM Salem's DTS, a dynamic 5-and-a-half-month program crafted to empower young adults with the tools necessary to share God's story with communities untouched by His word.

DTS students at YWAM Salem come from all types of backgrounds, hometowns, countries, and ages. Are most common age group is young adults from 18-24 years old. The minimum requirement to participate in a DTS is to be at least 18 or older or have a high school diploma.

YWAM Salem Discipleship Training Curriculum

Throughout two distinctive phases, the campus phase and outreach phase, participants will immerse themselves in a profound exploration of their faith, harness their unique talents, and acquire tangible skills to spread God's love throughout the globe.

Campus Phase

Immerse yourself in a vibrant Christ-centered community for 12 weeks on our 35-acre campus in Salem, OR. Your days will be filled with missions training, individual reflection, small group discussions, and daily worship sessions. We'll also dive into the Bible to take lessons from the Old and New Testaments.

During the campus phase, seize the opportunity to deepen your faith amidst a supportive community of fellow believers. You'll stay in dormitory-style housing and have free time in the evenings to explore the nearby community of Salem. We're also located only 1 hour from Portland and stunning mountain and forest scenery for weekend adventures.

The highlight of our campus phase is our diverse elective courses. Choose the course that aligns most with your natural passions and we'll help you hone your skills and turn your God-given talents into powerful discipleship tools. Our elective courses include:

  • Sports Ministry
  • Youth Ministry
  • Evangelism & Apologetics

Outreach Phase

Are you ready for unforgettable journey across continents? Spanning roughly 10 weeks, the outreach phase is your chance to apply your discipleship training in real-world scenarios. During this phase, you'll join seasoned missionaries in the field on a life-changing international trip.

Spend your time spreading your faith and making a difference in a foreign culture. Overcome cultural barriers to introduce new communities to the love of Jesus. This hands-on experience will ignite your potential and breathe life into your missions future.

More than 8 billion people across the world will live and die without ever having heard the Word of God. That's entire communities awaiting the revelation of His story and the touch of the Holy Spirit. You could be the one to embody God's compassion and minister to these individuals through daily acts of worship and service.

So, what are you waiting for? Apply for an upcoming DTS today!

Curious about DTS costs? Wondering about part-time job options while on DTS? Interested in how you'll spend free time on a YWAM campus? Explore our DTS frequently asked questions for more details about YWAM Salem's discipleship training school.

My Experience Serving Jesus Christ at a YWAM DTS

The following is a submission from a recent student in our Discipleship Training School! Read about her experiences below.

Hey, I’m a student in the Summer DTS at YWAM Salem!

When I was looking into coming to Oregon, I wasn't really sure what the process would be. I thought we would have a tighter schedule and not a lot of free time. I also thought that there wouldn’t be a lot of community building.

I'm writing this in week 3 right now, and a lot of the ideas I had about DTS before I came turned out to be completely wrong! The community here is very strong and also very welcoming. They include all of us DTS students in so many things and make it feel like a big family. 

We have lectures every week, but there is also so much more beyond that. We have a new speaker come in each week and talk about different topics. The first week we had the topic, Recognizing God’s Voice, then the Father Heart of God, and now we’re on the Story of the Bible.

Each week has been so informative, and also very personal. It is not a purely academic, scripted lecture. The speakers talk from their hearts and share what God has set out for them to teach. 

In the second week of the Campus Phase, the Father Heart of God topic really spoke to me. It has been my favorite week so far, as it really opened my eyes to the love that God holds for me, and everyone else.

The speaker, Ben, was also amazing. He touched on so many aspects and really helped me understand a lot. He was very personable and made great connections with each student. The main thing that stood out to me was his teaching about fathers. He touched a lot on earthly fathers and our Heavenly Father.

I grew up without my father, and I never saw my relationship with God as Him being a father figure. Ben taught me that God is my Father whether I have my earthly father or not. He also touched a lot on God's view of us as individuals.

In his eyes, he will love us no matter what. I have always struggled with understanding that. He really helped me grasp that viewpoint on God's love for his creation. 

There are so many things that make this campus wonderful, I have really loved being here. I have 8 other classmates doing the DTS, and I love the people that I'm in community with. They have been so fun to be around.

I have also learned a lot from each and every one of them. They are amazing people and passionate about their walk with God. We do a lot of different things together as well. We do family nights every Thursday night, we have class every weekday together, and we live together.

Sometimes it can be hard to spend all that time with the same people every day. But at the end of the day, you are here for God. Your friends and family are a bonus, so a lot of prayer and communication helps so much. 

DTS has been an amazing blessing, it has given me so much insight and great experiences already. There is also so much more in store for the next 9 weeks that I am so excited about.

This is the best decision that I could have made for taking the next step in my life. I am getting to work on myself and grow in my strengths and weaknesses. Through DTS, I get to grow in my walk with God while also making great memories with other godly people!

Do a DTS Today

If you're interested in joining a Discipleship Training School here in Salem, Oregon - we would love to talk to you more! Get connected with our team by inquiring through our website or applying for a school today!

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