Discipleship Training School

dts2Come to know God and make Him known. Set aside 5 months of your life to focus solely on God, search yourself and discover your gifts, and gain a heart for the world around you. See how Discipleship becomes a way of life, as you give time, energy and all of yourself over to Him! You will be forever ruined for the ordinary as you experience God’s heart for you and for the nations, don’t expect to ever be the same!

DTS is comprised of two phases. The lecture phase of the school covers a variety of different topics including Hearing the Voice of God, Intercession, World Missions, Worship and Discipleship. Along with lecture, other activities include small groups, local outreach, prayer and worship times, work duties and joining in with YWAM base events. After lecture phase, each student travels overseas for his or her field assignment on a mission outreach for a period of eight weeks. This is a time to practically use everything you have learned in the classroom. The outreach locations and type of ministry will vary depending on each school. When outreach is finished, all students return to the Central Coast for one last week of teaching and de-briefing before graduation.

There will be an emphasis on evangelism, mercy ministry and training in the school and on the outreach.

Isaiah 6:8 ‘Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Are you ready to rise to the challenge and answer the call? God has given us all power and authority in His name and if we just have faith like a mustard seed, we can move mountains. Are you ready to change the world?

Surf & Photography DTS

YWAM Pismo beach is looking for 14 individuals who desire deeper relationship with Jesus Christ to join us for our Surf & Photography Discipleship Training School. We are asking for people to join us who desire to discover who God created them to be, develop their gifts and callings; as well as have a passion to be set apart and serve God. Our call is to go forth, preach the Gospel, heal the sick, to know God and make Him known! 

If you are passionate about surfing or photography and are eager to use your specific gifting and skill set to serve the kingdom of God then this DTS is for you! This will be a life-changing experience and an intense opportunity to be discipled and learn how to disciple others. During lecture phase (September – December) we will have speakers come from all over the country to speak on subjects like “The Father Heart of God”, “Identity and Destiny”, “Discipling the Nations”, and more.

In addition to lectures, you will learn how to use your passion (surfing or photography) to build up the church, evangelize the lost,  as well as get lessons and opportunities to hone your skill. Our base is situated in an amazing location for both surfing and photography as well as in an area of great need for the Gospel. We will be exploring what the Central Coast of California has to offer as far as waves and photography locations as well as serving the people who call this area home during weekly outreaches. 

After lecture phase comes outreach phase, an intense 8-10 weeks overseas where you will put your new found physical as well as spiritual skills to work in building the kingdom of God. There are many ways we can serve overseas, including street evangelism, mercy ministries, kids camps, food and clothing distribution, and more. We desire to use the talents we cultivated in lecture phase to serve in whatever capacity possible.

We invite you to come and set aside these five months to take up your cross, be ruined for the ordinary, and be captured by His love.

If you would like more info, send us and Email at or click here to begin filling out your application.

frequently asked questions

The Facts

The dates:

September DTS: September 2017 – February 2018

Our Discipleship Training School is five months long. The first thirteen weeks of lecture phase are spent in the beautiful Central Coast of California, with the next nine weeks spent overseas on outreach.

Tell Me More About The Surf And Photography Tracks

This year’s DTS is geared toward surfers and photographers. When you apply, you will sign up for one of these two tracks. We ask that surfers provide their own 4/3mm wetsuit (boards will be loaned to you from our base) and photographers bring a camera that shoots in manual. You do not need to be experienced in your track before you arrive, our only goal is that our students arrive with a desire to learn about their track and have the equipment needed to do so.

How Much


Individuals: $6400 + the cost of outreach airfare

Married Couples: All married couples and families need to talk first with the school leader before applying. Because of our housing set up, special arrangements may need to be made for housing that will affect the tuition costs. If we are able to house married couples, the tuition will be $12800.

Lecture phase includes tuition costs, meals, housing at the YWAM base while you are in the Central Coast.

Outreach Fees: Are included in the above $6400 except for the airfare to the outreach location. All in-coutry costs, visas, and needed country-specific vaccines are included in these fees. Please plan for an additional $1000 – $2000 for outreach airfare depending on where the outreach is, and the cost of airfare at the time.

Registration Fee: Please include this amount with your completed application forms. This fee is non-refundable and is required to review your application.


Married Couples-$50.00

Because our housing and childcare facilities are limited, the school director must approve all applicants with children.


Hearing the Voice of God…Identity in Christ…Character and Nature of God…Frontier Missions…Discipleship/ Counting the Cost…Fear of the Lord…Passion for Jesus…Worship/Intercession…Prayer…Grace…World View…The Cross…Spiritual Warfare…. Relationships…


During the nine-week outreach phase, each member of the YWAM team has the opportunity to minister in a variety of ways, including street evangelism, mercy ministries, serving the poor, church ministry, working in orphanages, performing dramas, intercession, and many others.

Where's Outreach

Our outreaches vary from school to school, so if you have questions about destination, please call us. In the past, we have sent DTS teams to Greece, Italy, China, Tanzania, Zambia, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Israel, Kenya, Rwanda, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, India, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Nigeria.

When's The Money Due

The cost of the lecture phase is due upon arrival unless special arrangements are made by the school leader. The finances for outreach are due incrementally throughout the school.

Where Will You Be Living

The DTS students will be living in the heart of the central coast. Ideally situated for a variety of ministry opportunities from the artistic community of Cambria to the surfer community of Morro Bay to the college town of San Luis Obispo. Exact housing information will be made known closer to the date of the school as it varies from DTS to DTS.

Does This Count As College Credit

The Discipleship Training program in YWAM Pismo Beach and Central Coast is a certified course with the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. Credits from the U of N are transferable to a number of Christian colleges within the United States. Students will receive 12 credit hours for the DTS lecture phase and 8 credit hours for the DTS outreach phase. To find out more about the U of N, please call them at: 808-326-4400 or email them at:

Age Requirements

In order to apply for a DTS you must be at least 18 years old or a high school/secondary school graduate.

School of Ministry Development (SOMD)

Spring SOMD: April 2017 – June 2017

SOMD is a great next step for anyone wanting to strengthen and build upon what they learned from their Discipleship Training School. This three month treecourse is designed to sharpen your leadership skills and equip you with the necessary tools for impactful and lasting ministry.

As you discover more about God’s call on your life and how you fit into His kingdom, we want to take it a step further and help propel and guide you into that calling. Throughout the three months we will focus on growth in character, practical skills, and servant leadership. If you’re looking to be challenged, equipped, coached, and stretched then this is the school for you.

The course will include lectures, seminars, communication skills, hermeneutics and homiletics, team projects, and small groups.
Some of our lecture topics include:

  • Personal Growth and Development
  • Strengths Finders
  • Stewardship
  • Project Planning and Implementation
  • Worldview
  • Spiritual Authority and Leadership
  • Caring for Community
  • Pioneering Ministry
  • The Cost of Discipleship

Email for an application or more information.

SOMD was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Incredibly challenging, usually exhausting, but I couldn’t think of a better way to spend three months. This is much more than a leadership school. While I developed in my leadership skills, I also learned so much about interpreting the Bible and what it means to completely surrender to God. My leaders put their heart and soul into my school, and it completely showed. I’m grateful to this day that I made the decision to pack up my car and leave my life for three months to follow God’s plan for my life.
– Allie

SOMD was truly life-changing I would recommend it to anyone going into a business or ministry of any kind. This school prepared me to pursue being a missionary. Awesome lectures and great leadership. The staff takes extra time to direct the school in whichever way the students will grow and learn best according to their goals. Overall very personal and stretching!
– Amber

The SOMD in Pismo Beach is not for the faint of heart, but those looking to step into something greater then themselves. My experience with SOMD was stretching, yet exhilarating all in one. If you’re looking for a school that’s going to push your comfort zone and give you the tools to step into the calling God has for your life then you might want to check it out.
– Austin

Interested in a School? Send us a message