DTS Course

YWAM’s core missional value is quite simply to know God and make God known. The DTS is the entry point for long term missions with YWAM. Hopefully you are here because you are interested in missions. DTS is a great place to find out how you can be in missions with an excellent opportunity to experiment and find out who God created you to be. Being who God created you to be really can change the world.

It could be that you feel God is calling you to do a DTS, it could be that a friend has done a DTS and you have seen how their life has been transformed and you want that for your life. This might be the first time you’ve ever come across DTS and you are looking for something more, looking to hear God’s voice and what he wants to say to you.

Either way why should you do a DTS? In one short and simple answer, to know God. To enter into a deeper relationship with Him than you could possibly ever imagine. To realise that He’s not only there, but that He’s speaking to you and that He has a plan and purpose for your life. Ultimately its about your relationship with God and how that leads us to go to all people, so that we can be a presence of his loving kingdom.

The simple answer is probably because you are a photographer*. Whether you’ve never used a camera, but really want to learn or you are a professional. This is a time to develop as a photographer and be pushed to see how creativity and photography can be used in a missional context.

Our God is a creative God. He loves it when we creative, as he made us to be creative just like him. Photography is about conveying truth and bringing light to stories that need to be told or to capture moments that speak to our soul. The Photography DTS is not intended to dramatically increase your technical skill (although you will certainly gain valuable training and experience while you are here. Novice photographers are very much welcome and will learn how to use their camera). The intention of the DTS is to help you learn to use your existing talent in photography and to celebrate God and His creation.

*We do get creatives who play around with photography while on the DTS, but are here because they are artistically inclined and want to be part of this team because of the staff that are here and work they are involved in. i.e. there are those of us who work in other mediums than just photography.

A DTS (short for Discipleship Training School) is a 6 month course (there are 9/10/12 month DTS’ also) with two main elements. The first is a three month lecture phase comprising of lectures, local outreach and on this DTS, photography. Each week of the lecture phase has a different topic. The second part of the DTS is the outreach phase that is approx. a 10 week missions trip to put all that you’ve learned into practice.

Yes and we encourage it!! We would love it if you would consider joining our staff team, as there are plenty of opportunities available. We ask everyone coming back to first staff a DTS. However, we are looking into offering the School of Ministry Development for new staff coming off their DTS (though not till 2017/2018). After that, there are many possibilities. 3 areas we specifically focus on are Vanguard, Arts, and Community Development. However, we do suggest that you come into your DTS asking God where he wants to lead you, because it is not uncommon for that to change.

If you don’t want to staff, but serve for an extended time (3-6months) we are open to that, but like to work out the specific details with each individual.

We apologise if you haven’t heard back from us yet about your enquiry. Please resend us an email at info@ywamyork.com. Please attach the word “Urgent” in the subject line. Sorry for any delays.

In addition to the online application form for the DTS, you will also need to download and fill in the appropriate forms. You should have been emailed: the Additional Questions Form, the Medical Form, and the DTS Academic Info. Please complete, scan and email, or mail to:

218 Salisbury Terrace
York, North Yorkshire
YO26 4XP, UK

If you are able to scan and email the form, that is the quickest and our preferred method.
The application will not be complete until all the required forms are submitted. If you have questions about this, please contact us by email at dts@ywamyork.com.

The DTS application is a lengthly process, so be aware that it will take some time to complete it. It is done this way to pray for the applicants appropriately.

To be accepted as a DTS student you will need to complete the following:
1. Register and complete the online application form.

2. You will need 3 references for your application. You can find this in the yellow tab on the online application. You will need a church leader, a friend who has known you for more than 2 years, and a character reference (youth leader, small group leader, etc).

3. Fill out the Additional Questions Form, the Medical Form, and the DTS Academic Info, then return them to us. If you have not received these, email us at dts@ywamyork.com

4. Pay the £35 application fee. You can do this with a credit card via the system. Please use the pay to a friend option, otherwise we will be charged a small fee.

5. Once we have a full application submitted, we will contact you to arrange an interview time. It usually take approximately 30-45min (remember there is a time change). We will email you the questions ahead of time so you don’t feel put on the spot.

6. We will then get in contact with your references. It helps if you are able to let your references know that we will be getting in touch with them (remember there is a time change). This part in the application process can really impact how soon you find out if you’re accepted depending on how easy it is to get in touch with your references.

7. After that, we will let you know if you have been accepted.

We understand that the application can be a bit lengthly, but I can assure you that DTS is a worthwhile investment and that you will grow in Christ understanding and likeness! If you have questions or if you need help, please don’t hesitate to email us at dts@ywamyork.com.

The DTS is a mission training program. We are looking for people who want to experience missions, and grow in their relationship with God. We are looking for people who want to be here, who want grow in their relationship with God, are willing to learn and are open to having people speak into their lives.

If you are currently using illegal drugs, have recently come off of drugs or dealing with clinical challenges (ex. depression, anxiety, self-harm, etc.) the DTS might not be the best place for you at this time.

Also, the DTS is in English. If you aren’t fluent in the English language for you to speak, read and write in English, this might not be the best time and place for you, as we want you to be able to get the most out of your DTS.

We will try to work with special needs, on a needs by needs basis. If you have food allergies, diabetes, etc., it is imperative that you make us aware of these needs, and we will try to work with you. If the special need requires that you cannot leave the country, then we would try and work out an in-country outreach so you would be able to complete your DTS.

We ask that both spouses take the school together. The DTS is a time where you are growing closer to the Lord. It is best for the marriage when both can grow together in the Lord and in their marriage. We don’t recommend doing a DTS straight after getting married. It is better to take time to adjust to living together and not add all the pressure that would come with a DTS.

Absolutely! Contact us at dts@ywamyork.com for information on what will best suit your family – Living arrangements, a nanny, local schools or local daycare options.

Each DTS is unique and our numbers of students reflect that. On average we have between 8 – 16 students per term.

This depends on how quickly we receive all the parts of the application. We cannot accept a student without a complete application. There are two things that generally slow down the application process. One is completing the online application in full and the supplemental question download that you must fill out and send back to us. Two is getting all of your reference forms back. You should encourage your references to fill them out and send them back as soon as possible, as we can not accept you without all the reference forms returned to us. Once we have received your complete application, it is our goal to have an answer to you within two weeks. In most cases this happens, but occasionally it might take longer if the school leader is out of the country.

At the moment we cannot offer scholarships for our DTS program. However, this is something that we hope to do in future.

After completing your DTS application and being approved, you will need to pay a mandatory £300 deposit fee which will guarantee your spot on the school as spaces are limited. This fee will be used as a holding fee until you arrive. But don’t worry, the deposit will be deducted from your tuition.

Once you’ve been accepted, we will ask you to send your £300 deposit (which goes toward your lecture fees and confirms your place on the DTS). If you use PayPal, please select to send to a friend. This way you will pay for the fee charged by PayPal, otherwise please add an additional £15 to cover the PayPal fees. Alternatively, you can do a bank transfer or send us a cheque.

Lecture Fees
After you have paid your deposit, you should receive an invoice letting you know the remaining amount of your lecture fees. These fees are due by the end of your orientation week and can be paid through PayPal, bank transfer/draft, cheque, or by cash (in pounds).

Outreach Fees
Your outreach fees will vary due to varying locations and will be due upon departure for outreach. This will need to be in cash and given to your outreach leader. Half of it will need to be paid before the outreach and the other half can be paid while on your outreach.

EU Citizen – No

Non EU Citizen – Yes, after completing the DTS application process we will assist you in the visa process and send you all the information you need to get your visa. Until then, you don’t need to worry about your visa. Visas can take up to 3 months to process, so we recommend you getting your application finished as soon as possible.

Yes, you need medical insurance for your time in YWAM York. We do not offer insurance, you will need to provide it for yourself. However, we can suggest a few good missions insurance companies.

One piece of luggage, preferably a rucksack (backpack) approx. 55-65 litres for women and 65-75 litres for men, as well as a shoulder bag is the best suggestion. Please check airline luggage and weight limits before you travel. Storage space is limited at YWAM York so expect to take what you bring on outreach.

Bedding: This is supplied for all trainees, but you can bring your own pillowcase, sheets and duvet cover, if you prefer. For the outreach phase you may need a sleeping bag and an air mattress, but these can be purchased locally if necessary.

• Nice outfit(s) for church
• Set of work clothes
• Clothing for outreach (Some destinations have special requirements particularly for women (i.e. long skirts, and no sleeveless tops. Such items can be purchased in the UK if necessary)
• Warm sweaters
• Clothes to sleep in
• Walking shoes
• Raincoat / umbrella
It is recommended to bring clothing that can be layered, and is multi-functional (can be worn many different ways)

Other Miscellaneous, but Important Items
• Personal toiletries, towel, face cloth
• Medication & vitamins
• Torch (flashlight)
• Alarm Clock
• Camera, Lenses, and Equipment
• Musical Instruments (optional)
• Stationery (notebook, pens, etc.)
• Bible

**This information is also included with your acceptance letter in a print-friendly version. Be sure to also bring your printed acceptance letter and your passport with you in your carry on luggage!**

At the moment, we don’t own permanent housing. Therefore, it varies from school to school. We have rented multiple properties and have also rented 1 property that fits our need. Generally, you will have to share your room with someone else.

Ideally, we want the DTS to live in YWAM housing (exceptions are married couples with kids). A lot of the discipleship and opportunities to build relationships happens while living together that would be lost if you were only part of the school during class time. If you have family or close friends living close by, you are free to visit them in the evenings or on weekends.

Work duties are jobs that students do during the week to contribute to the efficient running of our community and to help keep tuition costs down. Students are assigned to work duties starting with the first week of school. There are a wide variety of jobs that students complete, but some of the most common jobs include:

• meal preparation
• meal clean ups
• nannying small children
• office cleaning
• media department

All YWAM staff and students live and work in community together. We all take on roles in keeping our base running smoothly and making it an affordable place to live and study. Beyond being a vital part of keeping YWAM York running, student work duties give practical opportunities to apply the character lessons being learned. We believe that work is from God and that we would aim to do all of our work for God’s glory. We believe that work duties are a foundational part of the DTS and your character development.

Locations vary for every DTS and are not usually decided until the beginning of the lecture phase. Outreach will look different based on the country you will go to. In the past we have gone to Hungary, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Poland, China and many other places.

YWAM York has focus cities that we regularly send teams to. Currently we are focusing on
Reykjavik Iceland, Rome Italy, Edinburgh Scotland, and Chisinau Moldova.

Yes! We love to celebrate, and who better to celebrate with than family? We encourage you to invite your friends and family to your graduation, but since housing space is limited, they will need to find separate lodging for the time they spend in York. If you would like recommendations for accommodation, please contact us.

**Please double check graduation dates for your DTS before booking flights.**


The Photography DTS starts with basic photography skills, developing towards more experienced skills and techniques. We try to meet our trainees with where they are at in knowledge of photography and help them to advance in skills. For those who are professional photographers, or more advanced in skills, we want to create opportunities that help develop your craft as a photographer.

Generally, we work with digital cameras, however, as a team we are moving towards using film cameras and darkrooms as well. We do not currently have a darkroom, but we are working towards creating one.

The Photography DTS is made for you to grow in the skills of photography. During the lecture phase we will have weekly workshops on photography. Some skills we will cover during the course are:
• Understanding Exposure
• Shutter Speed
• Depth of Field
• Aperture
• Composition
• Light
• Photo Journalism
• Photoshop

During the DTS we will have a weekly photo project where you will take what you learned during the week and use your photography skills to show what God has been speaking to you. At the end of the following week, there will be a photo critique where we look at the photos that have been created and critique them. The photo critique is nothing to be scared of as it is a guided process that will help you develop your skills.

On outreach we can’t guarantee that you will be able to use photography as a part of your outreach. We do encourage teams to try using photography on outreach. How this is done varies year to year and is different with each team.

One thing is for sure, through the course work, staff input and learning from other students, you will grow in your photography and be excited in your development of skill and techniques.

On the photography DTS, it is important to bring a few essential tools that will help you excel in your skills in photography. Here is a list of required and suggested equipment for you to bring to the school.

Photography Gear – Required Equipment:
• Digital DSLR
• Wide Angle lens
• Medium lens
• Telephoto Lens
• Laptop (with photo editing tools i.e. Lightroom, aperture or photoshop)
• Sturdy Camera Bag

* Instead of these three lens, it is fine to bring a lens that covers the full range. However, we strongly suggest to have at least one fixed lens that has an aperture of/lower than f/2.8 and is a 35mm or 50mm lens (For Nikon, you can purchase a cheap 50mm f/1.8 lens-we highly recommend this lens).

Photography Gear – Optional Equipment:
• Tripod**
• Cable Release
• Flash gun with wireless trigger
• Extra memory cards
• Extra battery’s
• USB Stick
• Light Reflector

**You can buy a cheap tripod here, and you are welcome to share.

Don’t panic if you don’t have all the essential equipment. Please email us for ideas and suggestions on how you can cheaply obtain equipment for the school.


1. Leeds/Bradford Airport. However, it is not convenient to fly to or for getting to York.

2. Manchester. You will then need to catch a train at the airport to York. There are trains every 30 mins to York which take approximately 2 hours. Most international airlines fly to Manchester (even if they include a lay-over elsewhere). This is the simplest route for you as trains are regular, direct and available late in the night. The last train to York is 1am.
***This is our recommended way for getting to York.***

3. London Heathrow (okay, not the next closest but maybe the next easiest to fly into for getting to York). You will then need to book your own train/bus ticket from London to York. You need to travel on the Piccadilly Underground Line for approx. 1 hour to Kings Cross train station. Then you catch the train from Kings Cross station to York (2-4 hours). The trains can be very costly and we recommend you book your train tickets well ahead of time to reduce the cost. Please keep in mind delays and transfers with your flight when booking train times.

Buses also go from London to York. We recommend Megabus which can be purchased for the least amount of money. This can cost as little £10 but can take over 5 hours to travel to York from London. You need to travel on the Piccadilly Underground Line for approx. 1 hour to Kings Cross train station. You would then get on a train for half of the journey and then switch to a bus for the last half of the journey. National Express is another option. You would need to take the underground to the Victoria Train Station, the Victoria Bus Station is a 10 min walk from the Victoria Train Station.
***We do not advise booking flights to London Gatwick, London Luton or London Stansted. These Airports are complicated to navigate out of to York, as your final destination.***

Non British Applicants, please note that voltage for electrical appliances is 240 AC current. Therefore, you may need an adaptor and/or a voltage converter. When you are on overseas placement you will need another adaptor for that country. Computers will have no problems, however, straighteners and shavers are likely to blow a fuse. You can check what you are wanting to bring and if it says 110-240v, you should be fine.

How much money you will need will depend on your spending habits. You can check online for current exchange rates. You’ll need to think about: phone calls, laundry, personal transportation, social outings, coffees, snacks, etc. Here’s a few things to give you an idea of prices in British Pounds:

• Laundry detergent £3 – £7
• Toiletries £3 – £20
• Make-up £5 – £30
• Sunscreen £5 – £15
• Self-inflating Sleeping mat £10 – £25
• Sleeping bag £25 – £50
• Mosquito repellent around £5
• Feminine Hygiene products £3 – £9
• Batteries £3 – £5/4pack
• Train fare to London – £100; train fare to the Coast – £30
• McDonalds meal £4 – £7
• Photo process – Digital – £2 per print
• Photocopying/printing – 10 pence per page
• York Card (free access into the minster) £5
• Coffee at a coffee shop £2.50 – £4
• Stamps for letters overseas £1