Joining us for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) or Gap Year with us soon? We have compiled a few resources to help prepare you for the amazing journey that’s ahead!
Get to know Townsville and our Campus
You are about to call Townsville home sweet home! Here are a few videos to help you get familiar with our campus and our region.
Day in the life of a DTS Student
Campus Tour Video
Tick Australia off your bucket list
We understand that fundraising can be a little daunting, but don’t worry, we are here to help support and equip you every step of the way! Here’s a few helpful resources to get you started.
Here are a few helpful links and videos to support you in your communication with your friends and family about what you are about to be a part of.
What is a DTS Video
Medical Ship Video
Preparing to Come Materials
Wondering what to pack? What the schedule will be? How to go about making travel arrangements? We have you covered!
What to bring video
Resources for Parents
We are here to help answer your parents’ questions too! Below are a few videos, links, and FAQ’s for parents.
DTS from a Parent’s Perspective
Frequently Asked Questions from Parents
Who will be responsible for the welfare of my son or daughter?
There will be a team of dedicated staff members working under the leadership of the school leader to ensure that each student is taken care of during the school.
In addition to completing a Discipleship Training School either at YWAM Townsville or another YWAM campus, all of our school staff have completed specialised training to equip them to staff the DTS. Our school leaders have staffed a number of Discipleship Training Schools prior to leading.
To allow for quality mentoring and support for your son or daughter, we aim for a ratio of one staff member to every five students on our schools.
How can I contact my son or daughter during their time in Australia?
We have a strong value for families and believe that connecting well with our friends and family is critical! You can stay connected during the DTS through the following methods:
Unlimited free internet access is available to all our students at the YWAM Townsville Campus Cafe. We understand that navigating schedules and time zones can be complicated, so this is available 24/7.
Send Letters and Packages
There is nothing quite like receiving physical mail, so we make it really simple for our students to receive the mail you send to them. Each week day, someone goes to the post office to collect the mail. Students then are able to pick it up right from our reception. Send all your mail to this address: YWAM Townsville, PO Box 6221, Townsville, QLD, 4810, Australia
Follow us on Social Media
One of the easiest ways to stay up to date with all that is happening here is through our social media. We believe having a strong social media presence helps share the good news of what God is doing in our lives and in the communities we are engaging in. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You never know when your son or daughter’s face might show up on our feed!
Call YWAM Townsville Reception
If you need to connect with your son or daughter urgently and are unable to reach them directly, you may call the YWAM Townsville reception and we will pass a message along to them.
Call us on +61 7 4771 2123.
What does the schedule look like?
The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is our entry level course. It is a 22 week school that provides students with the opportunity to grow closer to God and put their faith into action. After 13 weeks of training and discipleship at our campus in Townsville, Australia, participants go on outreach for nine weeks. On outreach, they have the opportunity to be a part of strengthening lives, communities and nations.
The school is divided up into lecture weeks and outreach weeks. A sample schedule is below:
During lecture weeks, the students will generally be in the classroom in the mornings to receive input from our guest speakers (a mixture of international and local lecturers). The afternoons and evenings will vary, but include a ministry placement where the students gets to partner with our staff and contribute to the work of the ministry. There are specialised input times for the focus of the student’s DTS elective as well as times of worship and social events mixed throughout the week. Here is a sample schedule of a typical lecture week:
What happens on the weekends?
Most weekends will be free to allow your son or daughter to enjoy exploring Townsville or possibly even taking a trip to Magnetic Island located just off the coast. As part of the DTS, the school will take a trip to Billabong Sanctuary where the students get a real Aussie experience and see kangaroos, koalas and crocodiles!
If your son or daughter is on the Trekking DTS, they will participate in a practice hike each Saturday to prepare for their outreach.
There are often times for students to volunteer in community wide events at the weekend. This is a great way to serve the Townville community and meet the locals.
We do not arrange for the student to attend a local church. However, there are a few local churches in the area that they are welcome to attend during their DTS.
Can I contact my son or daughter during their outreach?
Each student’s outreach location will vary in terms of what mobile/cell phone network is available. In both Australia and Papua New Guinea there are areas where network is available and areas where there is no network at all. Where there is network, your son or daughter may be able to purchase a SIM card and credit for their phone to connect with you.
All outreach team leaders carry mobile/cell phones and where the team is traveling to an area with limited or no network they will also carry a satellite phone. The outreach team leaders connect regularly with YWAM Townsville leaders at the campus.
If there is an emergency or other urgent matter that you need to connect with your son or daughter about while they are on outreach and you are unable to reach them directly, call the YWAM Townsville campus and we will help get a message to the team so that you can connect.
Where will my son or daughter go on outreach?
Our region extends from Australia to the Pacific Islands and out toward Southeast Asia. DTS outreaches typically go to North Queensland and into Papua New Guinea.
How do you ensure safety while on outreach?
YWAM Townsville has been operating in our region for many years. When sending teams out, we work with known and trusted local contacts and in areas we know to be safe and welcoming to our teams.
Each team leader is well equipped to ensure the safety of the teams. While it is impossible to eliminate every risk, we train our staff on how to manage risks they may encounter. Any team traveling into remote areas is equipped with safety equipment including mosquito nets, first aid kits, satellite phones and life jackets. Each team connects with our Training Leadership Team at YWAM Townsville many times each week to check in and give updates on how the team is doing.
YWAM Townsville has Crisis Management Policies in place which would be followed in the event of an emergency.
Can my son or daughter fly home for a family event?
As the DTS is a full time school and there are attendance requirements. We encourage all students to fully participate in every week of the school. However, if there is a family emergency or other urgent need for a student to travel home for a week during the school, that could be possible. The school leader will be able to discuss with you in more detail.
Due to the nature of outreach and where teams travel, it may not be possible for a student to travel to and from outreach locations for family events.
What does Health Insurance cover?
Each student will have Medibank Essentials Overseas Student Health Cover which we will purchase on their behalf; it will cover them for the duration of their course. Details of what this insurance covers can be found on the Medibank OSHC website.
Medibank Essentials OSHC will start two days before the start date of the school and will cover your son or daughter for one month after their graduation date. If they wish to travel in Australia before or after these dates, they will need to purchase additional health insurance to cover them for that time
What Immunisations are needed?
The immunisations needed will depend on your son or daughter’s outreach location. Often immunisations are cheaper in the student’s home country, so we recommend they visit a travel doctor to receive these immunisations prior to traveling to Australia.
All students will be required to have the following routine vaccinations:
- DPT (Diphtheria, Whooping Cough and Tetanus)
- MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
- Polio (if traveling to PNG, must have had a booster in the past 12 months)
For all students on the Medical or Trekking elective, a portion of their outreach is likely to be spent in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Other electives may also spend some time in PNG, this will be confirmed during lecture weeks of the DTS.
For those going to PNG on outreach, the following vaccinations are required (As per Centre for Disease Control Recommendations):
- Hepatitis A
- Antimalarial – not chloroquine (malaria in PNG is resistant to this drug)
- Hepatitis B – required only for medical professionals doing the Medical DTS
Please note, these immunisations are a requirement for students to participate in our outreach. If your son or daughter is unable to have these immunisations, it may affect their outreach location options.
If your son or daughter doesn’t have the immunisations completed before they arrive for DTS, there will be a chance to have them completed in Townsville at their own expense.
How much does the course cost?
The Discipleship Training School costs $6,490 AUD plus outreach travel expenses ($1,000–$1,800 AUD)
Fees cover 13 weeks of missions training and 9 weeks of outreach. Training costs include all meals, accommodation, free wifi, laundry facilities, transport, an Australian wildlife experience (meet a koala and feed kangaroos!) and use of our campus facilities. These facilities, located right in the heart of the city, near the beach, restaurants and shops, includes a library, lecture rooms, chapel, courtyard and cafe.
Outreach costs include all meals, accommodation, a t-shirt, any extra visas, insurance and field supplies.
Outreach travel expenses (flights, bus, ferries, etc.) will vary depending on the outreach location for your son or daughter and will be between $1,000 AUD and $1,800 AUD. This will be determined within the first few weeks of the school, once outreach locations are finalised.
The $6,490 does not include travel costs to and from Townsville, student visa, health insurance, immunisations, or outreach travel expenses.
Do you cater for dietary needs?
It is the heart of our food services team to cater well for your son or daughter during their DTS and to be as accommodating as possible for special dietary requirements. The dedicated team in our campus kitchen prepares three meals a day for all students.
Breakfast: Self-service breakfast bar of cereals, toast, spreads, yoghurt and fruit. On certain days eggs and other options may be available.
Lunch: Self-service sandwich & salad bar
Dinner: Most evenings a hot buffet meal is served in the main dining hall.
The daily menu for students is based on the recommended daily intake of the five food groups consisting of two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables each day.
We are unable to cater for severe dietary requirements and allergies such as vegans and life threatening allergies where people can not have the item in the same room or area. If your son or daughter has a severe allergy, they will need to talk with their school leader, who will work with the food services team to see how we can accommodate for their needs. Quite often, these students will need to supplement their meals at their own expense and prepare it themselves.
Our food services team does cater to the following dietary categories:
- Regular off the menu
- Lactose and/or dairy free
- Gluten free
- Some item by item allergens
How do I make payments?
May I come visit?
Yes! We love it when families come to visit us! Be sure to check the school schedule to ensure you come to visit during a lecture week.
We would love to host you right here on our campus and have some guest accommodation that might be available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about availability before completing your travel plans.
When is graduation?
During the last week of the DTS, we will have a few points of celebration. Typically, we will have a campus wide celebration night on the Wednesday of the last week of your son or daughter’s school. This is a time where we honour long-standing staff and celebrate all students who are graduating from schools, including DTS and our second level schools.
On the Friday of the last week of your son or daughter’s DTS, we will have a graduation ceremony where the students will receive their certificates as we celebrate the end of the school.
What is expected after DTS?
DTS is an incredible time of transformation where your son or daughter will have the opportunity to process many things about their 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.
There is no expectation for your son or daughter to stay longer at YWAM Townsville. Our heart is to release them into whatever they feel called to do.
If your son or daughter does feel like they want to stay on with YWAM Townsville, they will have the option of joining staff. During this time, they will receive further mentoring and hands-on experience, while serving in our ministry.