YWAM Destination Paradise currently offers four DTS programs each year each with a leadership focus. Please see the schedule page for specific dates and locations.
YWAM DP DTS and YWAM DP / U of N Secondary Schools are held at the YWAM Destination Paradise Campus 4 miles north of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize, Central America. Please see the schedule page for specific dates and cost. Please note that YWAM Destination Paradise has finance offices in Freeland, Washington USA and in Belize but all YWAM DP schools currently take place in Central America.
The YWAM Destination Paradise program is either 5 or 9 months conducted in 2 or 3 phases as follows: Lecture Phase- 12 weeks at the YWAM DP Base on the beach in Belize Outreach Phase- 8 weeks as a team in a developing nation. Could be anywhere in the world. Internship Phase (optional)- Students may choose to continue the DTS experience with an additional 16 weeks in a location chosen to match each student's interest, giftings and passion. Could be anywhere in the world.
YWAM Destination Paradise Discipleship Training Schools are resolved to train and equip emerging leaders for wildly successful lives of passion and service for Jesus. The lecture phases take place at the YWAM DP Base in Belize, providing an amazing platform for learning and growing. DP strives to do everything with excellence. All of the first class speakers come to the YWAM DP Base in person during the lecture phase. Outreaches are chosen specifically for each team to enable each member to put the principles and learning gained during the lecture phase into practice. Finally, the optional 16 week internship is specifically chosen and designed for each student based on their individual interest, giftings and passion. The internship puts everything together in the context of another team providing a fantastic transition from learning about missions to the practical application of 'Go and make disciples'. More info...
If you are looking for an exciting, intensive, challenging way to exponentially grow in your faith and get ready to put your giftings and passion to work for the Lord, YWAM Destination Paradise is the place. The programs are tough. It is both a school of the head and a school of the heart. The number of students we can accept for each school is small, making a very intimate setting to allow for significantly greater interaction between students and speakers and staff. More info. If you are simply looking for a way to come sailing or go diving, hang out, relax and see the world...this is not the place for you. Sure all those things happen during a lecture phase but that is just the beginning. We work hard, we go deep, we do it together and we make a difference.
If you are interested in being a part of the YWAM Destination Paradise Discipleship Training School as a student, we encourage you to first pray. "Lord, is this the right DTS at the right time for me?" If you feel a leading or a confirmation from Him, go for it and begin to go through the application process. There are several sections to the application, all of which must be submitted before your application can be considered. We will stay in touch and pray with with you through the application process.
The student fees for lecture phase is $3,950. Students have two outreach options, one held in the same geographic region as the lecture phase, and one held internationally, which could be anywhere in the world. Outreach fees vary based on location selected. For more information about student fees, please click here. The student fees for the optional internship will vary greatly from location to location. Internship fees are not paid through YWAM DP. Each student works directly with the internship location to cover all expenses. Students are very involved in choosing internship locations. Internship cost usually ranges between $1,500 and $4,000 for the 16 weeks.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is an international, interdenominational movement of Christians passionate about knowing God and making Him known. Please click here to learn more about YWAM or visit www.ywam.org.
Enrollment in YWAM DP DTS schools is often smaller than other YWAM bases due to our desire for intimacy in the schools. We want to make sure that each student has personal time with each speaker and ample time with YWAM DP staff. Most DTS schools have between 20 and 30 students but may go as high as 40.
YWAM Destination Paradise is very much international in nature and welcomes students from around the world. English is the language spoken during lectures and therefore students must be proficient in speaking, writing and understanding English.
Each week during the lecture phase of the Discipleship Training Schools, YWAM Destination Paradise welcomes outstanding speakers to present the week's subject matter. Many YWAM schools use videos or DVD's of the speakers DP has in person each week. Some of the speakers who have come in person to YWAM Destination Paradise include: Dean Sherman- International Speaker/Teacher, former Dean of Christian Ministries- U of N; Peter Warren- Base Director- YWAM Denver, International YWAM Leader; Jeff Pratt Base Director- YWAM Axiom, New Haven CT (Yale University town); Karen Padgett- Professional Coach, Director Lifetime Initiaives; Dr. Jon Peterson- Professor- Fuller Theological Seminary; John Murphy- Director- Boarders DTS, Denver, Colorado; Don Richardson- Speaker/Teacher/Author Eternity in Their Hearts, Peace Child; Marty Nystrom- Worship Leader, song writer including As the Deer, Integrity Music; Armando Benner- Base Director- YWAM Amsterdam, Founder- Nations to Nations; Brenda Lewis- Base Director- YWAM Axiom, New Haven CT (Yale University town); Donna MacGowan- Staff Leader- YWAM Denver; Steve Kilpatrick- Regional Director, Youth With A Mission; Bethann Miller- Former Mercy Ships Chaplain; Dan Baumann- Author Imprisoned in Iran and A Beautiful Way; Matt Atkins- Senior Pastor- Mosaic Community, Bellingham, WA
There are many exciting opportunities for adventure with YWAM DP. SCUBA DIVING- DTS students are welcome to dive with us and if needed or desired take PADI dive certification from our own instructors. The cost is very low. SAILING- the cool Caribbean breezes are perfect for sailing on our Hobie Cats KAYAKING- The crystal clear waters of Belize are perfect for gliding over or a peek SNORKELING- From the beach or a Kayak, the coral and fish await Visits to Mayan ruins, zip lining, tubing down rivers through dark caves and other activities are also available (for additional charge) during DTS. Check out http://www.ywamdp.org/adventure for much more info and photos!
YES! YWAM Destination Paradise Discipleship Training Schools are fully accredited through the University of the Nations in Kona Hawaii. Graduates of YWAM DP's DTS program (all 3 phases) receive 32 university level credits (20 for the first two phases) that can be used toward a degree at the U of N or transferred to many universities around the world (check with specific institutions for credit transfer requirements).
First, a statement. Most students bring way too much stuff. YWAM DP students are asked to keep the total weight of everything they bring to less than 50 pounds (23Kg). This includes lightweight/compact sleeping bags, clothing, and all personal items. The primary reasons for limiting the amount of stuff students can bring include the ability to remain relatively agile during outreach and the limited storage space at the base. Students may bring one backpack no larger than 6000 cubic inches (.1 cubic meter) where everything they bring must fit. More specifics on the specifics of what to bring are found in other questions...
First, if it does not fit in your backpack, we ask that you not bring it (see previous question). We also require that everything you bring, in total, must weigh less than 50 pounds (23 Kg). We also ask students not to bring or have the following items aboard: Alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco products, music with explicit lyrics, clothing with inappropriate writing or markings, firearms, fireworks, string bikinis, hair dryers/ curling irons (and other similar electrical appliances).
Each student needs to bring a lightweight sleeping bag both for use during lecture phase, outreach and perhaps internship. Sleeping bags do not have to be water resistant but that would help. The more compact the sleeping bag, the more room students will have for other items in their backpacks. It is also very common for students to bring compact sleeping pads (Thermarest or similar) for sleeping outside. These pads nearly always come in handy during outreach as well.
Most students bring WAY too much stuff, including clothes. In general, YWAM DP is very informal. The climate during the lecture phase will be warm and humid for the most part. Evenings can be a bit cool but very rarely cold. One hoodie or sweatshirt should suffice. Most students really only need one pair of long pants as well. Shorts, T-shirts and swimsuits are the most common clothing worn at the base. There are opportunities to visit local churches but informal attire is normally quite acceptable. A good pair of sandals is needed ashore. Tennis shoes (or other closed toed shoes) can be helpful for longer walks or occasional trekking or hiking.
It is very important that we honor each other with modesty. For guys, board shorts or other loose fitting trunks are much more acceptable than the tight fitting 'Speedo' type. Girls should avoid swim wear that is particularly revealing. For example, if it has strings, it should stay at home.
Yes. If you need batteries for cameras, head lamps or other battery operated devices, please plan on bringing some with you. In addition, It is nearly always possible to purchase more in local shops when you arrive. The same goes for other items such as toothpaste and other toiletries.
DTS Students are discouraged from bringing their own notebook computers primarily because having them on outreach can be a pain. Not only do notebook computers take up precious room in a backback, carrying them around on outreach is likely to promote damage, theft or loss of the computer. Please note that there are computers available for student use during the lecture phase at the base.
DTS students will have some limited internet access at the base. Internet cafe's are plentiful in town when the student computer at the base is being used. Skype and other VoIP is not available at the base.
If you care deeply about a specific brand of deodorant or toothpaste, you may want to bring a supply large enough to cover your entire time away. However, most items you could want should be available in the locations where the lecture phase takes place. That said, it would be wise to bring at least some of each of the items you need...soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, stuff to shave with, contact solution (contact solution is VERY expensive in Belize) and any other necessary items, and replenish as needed once you get to DTS. Please remember that all items brought must fit inside your backpack and fall within the packing guidelines (see previous question about what to bring).
The student tuition covers all room and board, helps to cover the cost of bringing speakers to YWAM DP and all other ministry related expenses. Student tuition does not cover personal items such as toiletries or batteries, the cost of Internet access in town if desired, telephone, going out to eat if desired, non-team recreation and other similar personal expenses. Every student will have different personal spending preferences and limits. Some students bring very little to cover personal expenses and others much more. Students do not need to bring more than about $250-300 dollars (or equivalent) to cover personal expenses but can if they like. ATM machines are abundant and shops in most of the countries we visit widely accept credit cards.
Exchanging money is normally not difficult at all. In most countries, ATM machines are abundant and often the best way to get local currency offering the best rates. In addition, shops in most of the countries we visit widely accept credit cards. In addition, in Belize where the YWAM Destination Paradise Caribbean Base is located, US dollars are widely accepted (but not coins).
Yes! Music is a HUGE part of nearly everyone's lives and the use of iPods (or similar MP3 players) is welcome. When listening to music in public areas around the base, the use of headphones is strongly encouraged since music preferences varies greatly. If students have music with explicit lyrics, those songs/artists should be left at home...they are not welcome at YWAM DP.
YWAM Destination Paradise does what it does with excellence...this includes the food. Staff and students work together to plan, provision, prepare and partake in meals together. Students will find meals to be healthy and balanced but also delicious. It is the sincere desire of DP that when students look back on their DTS experience, they will say "we ate great!"
YWAM Destination Paradise lecture phases are tropical and therefore somewhere between warm and hot during the day and somewhere between very warm and cool in the evenings. Humidity is often quite high as well especially during the day. Most tropical countries have a rainy season and rain is always possible in tropical locations.
Seeking God's heart and direction is the key to determining outreach locations. In some schools, the outreach location is determined prior to the beginning of lecture phase. In other schools, staff and students pray together for the outreach location.
Internships are the optional third phase of the YWAM Destination Paradise Discipleship Training School. This 16 week phase is accepted by and determined with significant student input and based on each student's individual interest, giftings and passion. Internships provide an amazing transition between the school/learning/preparing/equipping that take place during the DTS and the answer to the call in ministry/missions/working/serving that takes place for the rest of a graduate's life. Internships can take place anywhere in the world, at missions organizations, in churches, Christian ministries, or businesses based and run on Christian principles.
The library at the YWAM DP Base contains many excellent titles that may be used for required book reports, personal study or other reading.
YWAM Destination Paradise Discipleship Training Schools are, like all DTS programs, schools of the heart. That said, YWAM Destination Paradise DTS schools are also very much schools of the head. Learning in the DTS happens by a combination of: experience through lectures, reading and reporting on various books from the library, group discussions/book discussions, through prayer, memorization of God's Word, small groups and interaction with one another, and other elements both academic and experiential.
There are times during the lecture phases when it is possible to attend local churches but not likely every week. Based on the school schedule, students and staff may attend any church they would like. The YWAM DP Caribbean Base is located in San Pedro where there are several churches in the area.
Being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit's leading is one of the elements strongly emphasized and modeled during all phases of the YWAM Destination Paradise DTS. This means that engaging with people wherever we are is sure to occur. This may look differently during different phases. Planned, structured outreach activities are more likely during Outreach and Internship. Engaging during lecture phase is more likely to be relationship-based and more one-on-one in nature. We should always be ready to give an answer for the hope which lies within us. We should always be available to anyone who wants to know Jesus. We should always be ready to be used by God to accomplish whatever He wills.
Unfortunately no. It is generally not the case that students receive visitors such as parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, or others during any of the three phases of the program. There are several reasons why this is unproductive. First, there is very little space to host others. Second, although sometimes difficult, being away from 'familiar' is one of the things that helps people really grow. Third, the disruption to the community is something that many people do not consider when they think it would be nice to visit or invite visitors. Generally speaking, students do not have visitors during their DTS.