Discipleship Training School





Medical DTS

Partnering with our long-term strategy in Australia and Papua New Guinea, you’ll be a part of land or ship teams connecting with local villages or towns. Your outreach will have a focus on helping to build healthy villages from a holistic perspective, working in partnership with local communities. Interested but not a medical professional? That’s ok, get in touch!

Trekking DTS

Isolation is not an excuse to be forgotten! Our trekking teams aim to reach people in some of the most remote areas with a message of hope and practical help. You’ll have physical training to prepare you for this epic adventure.

Youth Adventures DTS

Suicide is the biggest killer of Australian youth, but helping young people find purpose is one of the greatest life-givers. You’ll be a part of a vibrant youth ministry, helping young people experience the amazing gift of giving to others through outreach.

Trailblazer DTS

Do you dream of unexplored places, adventure, and making a difference? We are people who will be blazing a trail for others to follow. We are pioneers, explorers, and people who crave adventure.

Reef to Outback DTS

From the Great Barrier Reef to the Aussie Outback, this incredible adventure was the very first DTS we offered! If you’re looking for a classic experience, this is the one for you.

All Generations DTS

The All Generations DTS is the classic experience for all ages, including families. The heart of this DTS is to value anyone hoping for a taste of missions – or a transition to a long term career in YWAM.

In addition to being a part of the All Generations DTS, you will have the option of choosing to be a part of the medical, trailblazer, media & radio, performing arts or youth elective.

Media & Radio DTS

The Media and Radio DTS calls for those who are passionate about using photography, videography, radio broadcasting, and writing to share stories that inspire hope and change!

Be trained in basic media and storytelling skills, before we send you on outreach to capture on the ground stories in communities in Australia or Papua New Guinea.

Performing Arts DTS

The Performing Arts elective is for those who have a passion for music, dance and other forms of creative arts; particularly with a Pacific Islands expression. Students on the elective will be a part of creating productions with the end goal of using it on outreach to share an important message and story.

Medical Missions Gap Year

Join us for 12 months on our Medical Missions Gap Year Program. Have the opportunity to be trained as a healthcare worker for developing nation communities!

Communication & Media Gap Year

The Communications & Media Gap Year program is designed to help you grow in your faith while sharpening your skills in a broad range of areas in the communications field.

What is a DTS?

YWAM is a Registered Training Organisation, offering a variety of courses designed to help develop character, skills and knowledge in a live-learn Christian-faith based environment. The foundational course, a Discipleship Training School (DTS), is about faith development and community engagement. It’s a journey of discovery, unlocking unique passions and gifts, and matching them with vision to see positive human development in our world.

Encounter God

The DTS is not just about developing head knowledge, but heart knowledge as you grow closer to God. The DTS is a great opportunity to get away from the noise and distractions of life and set aside time to consider your calling and engage with God’s heart for you and the world around you.

Be a part of changing nations

During your DTS you’ll have the opportunity to develop your compassion for the world we live in. Our vision is to see sustainable health improvement in Papua New Guinea, and the youth of Australia empowered to live a life of purpose. Your DTS outreaches are strategically planned to directly tie in with achieving this vision.

Experience Aussie Culture

Get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos, and crocodiles! The YWAM DTS includes a trip to Billabong Sanctuary. While you’re with us, why not snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef? It’s just off our coast.

Alive with Training

Character Development, Skills, Support, Community

The DTS includes 12 weeks of lectures. A different topic is covered every week, giving you the opportunity to dive in deep with your lecturer and classmates. Lecture topics may include hearing God’s voice, identity, missions, relationships, bible study, nature and character of God and more. This is so much more than just a course – you’ll have the opportunity to connect with God and others in a very real and personal way.

Location, Location, Location!

Enjoy your training at our city campus located right in Townsville’s CBD close to the beach, cafes and shops. Our campus includes multiple classrooms, wireless internet access, café, chapel, commercial kitchen and a beautiful courtyard right in the centre of it all where you can enjoy our tropical setting.

There may also be opportunity for you to complete your field assignments onboard our Training and Medical Ship, the MV YWAM PNG, in remote areas of Papua New Guinea!

Quality Speakers

Our speakers are sought from Australia and overseas providing the best input by gifted speakers with proven experience on the field. They invest into students and will care for you as an individual.

Live-learn environment

Our live-learn training philosophy creates a learning environment where staff, teachers and families eat, study, work, and play in close proximity for maximized learning and mentoring opportunities. Your accommodation and dining is right on campus.

Alive with Purpose

Watch your faith come alive

Our region extends from Australia, into the Pacific Islands, and out toward Southeast Asia. All of our training schools include practical application in at least one of these locations where you will have the chance to bring hope and life to those who are in great need.

Cross Cultural Experiences

Whether you’re serving in an Aboriginal community in Australia, a remote village in Papua New Guinea, or an urban area – you are bound to have a cross cultural experience you won’t forget.

Work in team

During outreach, you and your classmates will be split into teams. You’ll be serving alongside 8-12 other people for the duration of the outreach. This is a special time of bonding and creating amazing memories together.

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Choose your own adventure

Each DTS has electives that you can choose from to help match you with your passion. See a list of electives that we offer below.

When do you want to do a DTS?

January DTS

January 26th – June 26th 2020*

2019 Electives Available:

Media & Radio
Reef to Outback
Youth Adventures

April DTS

April 21st – September 20th 2019
April 19th – Sept 25th 2020*

2019 Electives Available:

Youth Adventures
Reef to Outback

July All Generations DTS

July 14th – December 13th 2019
July 12th – December 12th 2020*

2019 Electives Available:

Media & Radio
Performing Arts
Youth Adventures

October DTS

Oct 20th 2019 – March 20th 2020*
Oct 18th 2020 – March 19th 2021*

2018 & 2019 Electives Available:

Reef to Outback
Youth Adventures

The majority of our DTS options are for 18-35 year olds. If you are over 35 years or have a family, we would love to hear from you! Please apply for the July All Generations DTS.


*DTS electives to be confirmed

Course Details



  • April 21st – September 20th 2019
  • July 14th – December 13th 2019
  • October 20th 2019 – March 20th 2020



  • January 26th – June 26th 2020
  • April 19th – Sept 25th 2020
  • July 12th – December 12th 2020
  • October 18th 2020 – March 19th 2021
6,990AUD* All Inclusive Price – Training and Outreach

Once you’re here, everything is taken care of! Your fees include 13 weeks of missions training and 9 weeks of outreach. Your training includes all your meals, accommodation, free wifi, laundry facilities, transport, an Australian wildlife experience (meet a koala and feed kangaroos!) and use of our campus facilities including library, lecture rooms, chapel, courtyard and cafe – right in the heart of the city, close to the beach, restaurants and shops.

Your outreach includes all of your meals, flights, accommodation, transport, t shirt, any extra visas, insurance and field supplies.

*Does not include travel costs to and from Townsville, student visa, health insurance and immunisations. Additional travel costs may be added for outreaches further abroad. 

Scholarships & Discounts

YWAM Townsville offers the following scholarships and discounts for our Discipleship Training School.

Developing Nations Scholarships

If you are from a Category B or C nation, you may be eligible for a discount off your training phase fees. For more information on categories and discounts click here.

Please note, only one scholarship/discount can be applied for per applicant. 


10473NAT Certificate III in Discipleship

On completion of all 6 units of the course you will obtain a Certificate III in Discipleship.

Unit: DSPENC301A – Encounter God – This unit describes the outcomes required to strengthen a Christian’s relationship with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) by imparting a life-changing understanding of the nature, character and ways of God, by encouraging a response to Him in worship, prayer and obedience, and by equipping participants to read the Bible in such a way that transforms beliefs, values and behaviours.

Unit: DSPPER301A – See life from God’s perspective – This unit describes the outcomes required to enable a Christian to adopt and apply the Biblical view of human beings and their role as partners with God in all of creation, while affirming the value, uniqueness and significance to God of every individual as well as all peoples and nations.

Unit: DSPRJL301A – Recognise Jesus as Lord – This unit describes the outcomes required to strengthen a Christian’s commitment to follow Jesus as Lord and to apply that commitment to personal lifestyle.

Unit: DSPBLJ301A – Become more like Jesus – This unit describes the outcomes required to establish an ongoing development of the Christian’s attitudes, values and behaviour to reflect those of Jesus Christ.

Unit: DSPWKS301A – Do the works of Jesus – This unit describes the outcomes required to challenge a Christian with the ‘Great Commission’, to do the works of Jesus so as to defeat the enemy’s strategies, to strengthen their commitment to reach the lost, to equip them to share the Gospel, and to encourage them to clarify with God their personal life direction and purpose.

Unit: DSPYWM301A – Orientate to Youth With A Mission – This unit describes the outcomes required to become broadly familiar with the purpose, structure, history and foundational values of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) internationally, nationally and locally. The unit will also introduce participants to the opportunities that are available for them for further study and ministry within Youth With A Mission (YWAM) after the completion of the training course.

Course Work

The Discipleship Training School is a combination of heart revelation and head knowledge with an emphasis in practical application. There is also a component of written course work which helps students understanding reach a deeper level as processing and application takes place. Our assessments utilise a range of methods including: journals, workbooks, book reports, outreach reports, self-assessment checklists and supervisor reports. The DTS is a holistic in nature and units of competency are delivered concurrently enabling you to develop your skills, knowledge and character.

* for recognition of prior learning/course credit, please see the Staff and Student Handbook.

Austudy, Abstudy and Youth student allowance is available for Australian applicants.


Applicants need to have graduated High School or equivalent and has a sense of call to Christian Missions.

International Students

When overseas students apply, proficiency in English will be specifically assessed. Offers of placement in a course will include any applicable requirements for English language proficiency. Copies of documents, or telephone interviews will be used to verify information provided by students on language proficiency. Bridging courses will be recommended where these are deemed necessary.

International students on student visas are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress and attendance to meet the requirements of the student visa.

YWAM Townsville is bound by the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations regulates the education and training sector’s involvement with overseas students studying in Australia on student visas. It does this through the Education Services for Overseas Students legislative framework. This protects Australia’s reputation for delivering quality education services and the interests of overseas students, by setting minimum standards and providing tuition and financial assurance.

The legislation mandates a nationally consistent approach to registering education providers so that the quality of the tuition, and care of students, remains high. The professionalism and integrity of the industry is further strengthened by the ESOS legislation’s interface with immigration law. This imposes visa related reporting requirements on both students and providers. A simple explanation of the framework is the Easy Guide to ESOS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which visa do I apply for?

The visa process is something we walk you through nearer the time if you are offered a place on your course. Once enrolled we will purchase your healthcare and create a Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) for you. You will need this to apply for your visa. The majority of our students come in on a Student Visa (subclass 500). For more information please see the Australian Immigration website . Please do not start your visa process before talking with one of our team members on the phone.

Are there any extra fees I need to be aware of?

You need to budget the following:

  • Flights to get to Townsville and back
  • Immunisations
  • Visa and Insurance are extra to course costs (please note that if you apply for 2 student visas onshore you will incur extra charges)
  • Personal expenses like snacks, toiletries, mosquito repellant  
Do I need a return plane ticket?

Once you’ve paid for your course, you need to budget for your flights to get to Townsville and back. You do not necessarily need a return ticket and can enter Australia without one.  As some students like to travel after the course, but make sure you save enough to purchase a ticket home at the end of your course.

Do I need Health Insurance?

All overseas students on a Student Visa must have health insurance, it is a requirement for your visa. You can only be covered by Medibank Overseas Student Health Cover on your Student Visa which we will purchase on your behalf once you have paid your deposit. The only exceptions to this are students from Norway, Belgium and some Swedish students. Please see the National Department of Health website for more details. If you are from Australia or New Zealand you will not be on a visa and will not need to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover.

If you are mission building or on another type of visa you will need to take out health insurance which satisfy a number of minimum requirements which we can chat with you about during the application process.

What happens after DTS?

DTS is an incredible time of transformation where you will have opportunity to process many things about your life. After the DTS, some people may decide to return home and get involved in their local communities, others may decide to do further study, or work with other missions organisations, some may decide to stay on with YWAM in Townsville, or at another location.

If you find you’d like to stay on with YWAM Townsville, you will have the option of joining our two-year staff internship program. During this program you will receive further mentoring and hands-on experience. You will also have the option of doing one (or more!) of our vocational training courses. This training can be completed at your own pace, online – matched with practical application during your staff placement.  

Do you have DTS for families?

Yes! We love having families in missions. If you are wanting to do DTS as a family then please apply for our All Generations and Medical electives on our July DTS Quarter. There will be lots to talk about, depending on the size of your family, ages of your children and heart for missions. We would encourage you to apply first and we will journey with you through your application.

At this point we do not have a specific family DTS cost, each spouse pays the full DTS fees and children pay a discounted amount towards food.

How old do you have to be for DTS?

You must be 18 years old to do a DTS. If you are 17 when you apply for DTS but turn 18 in the first few weeks then it might be possible, please get in touch with us about this. Most of our DTS options are for up to 35 years of age, but the All Generations and Medical electives in the July Quarter are open to 35 years and over.

Is there a beach?

Yes! And it’s a 15 minute walk from the campus 🙂

Can I work whilst I do my DTS?

DTS is a full-time course which means you’re going to be pretty busy! You’ll have things on in the morning, afternoons and most evenings, as well as school activities at the weekend. Your student visa has limited working conditions.

I am a parent and have some questions, can I talk with someone on the phone?

Yes of course, please go to our Contact Us page and either give us a call or an email, we would love to chat.

What is an elective?

An elective is a focus within the overall DTS, every student who participates in a YWAM DTS will receive the same foundational training. The elective you choose adds a certain flavour to your school, most electives have some additional training element. This could be work-based training or lectures where you will get additional input on to develop skills, character and knowledge relevant to your chosen elective. These focus times will also assist with preparing your for outreach where we endeavour to provide opportunities to put your new knowledge and skills into practice.

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"DTS has shone a new light in my life and has given me a profound passion and excitement for my future and what it holds."

Jessica, Australia, 18
Jessica, Australia, 18

"The DTS was life changing. I came to YWAM thinking I had my life figured out. This couldn’t be further from the truth. YWAM does a really good job at teaching on topics that youth face in life. On outreach, you will grow so much and God will do amazing things if you let Him. This experience has been the best thing I have ever done."

Alex, USA, 20
Alex, USA, 20

"I started a new journey with God since coming here. I’ve had challenges in my life, DTS has taught me that I have a God given power, to overcome those challenges. I have discovered my voice and new talents that I can use to serve others."

Micha, Germany, 22
Micha, Germany, 22

"This DTS has helped me learn to be with God and live alongside Him in every moment! This experience has made me so excited for my future and dreams with Him!"

Yolanda, England, 22
Yolanda, England, 22
Discipleship Training School