Frontiers DTS

The spring term DTS has a special frontiers focus. This DTS is designed for adventurers who are willing to blaze new trails and want to gain more of God’s heart for the lost and unreached; the places we have yet to go. The core curriculum is the same as a classic DTS, with an 11 week lecture phase and 9 to 11 weeks of outreach to a Frontier Nation or people group and North America. 

During the lecture phase there is an added emphasis on unreached people groups, how to engage them, and developing a passion for the lost. This will also result in understanding our target nation for outreach and creating prayerful strategies to partner with God to make Him known.


DTS is a wonderful starting point for deepening your relationship with God.”

Peter Gonzalez

Grow in your Christian walk. Reach the nations.

The aim of FDTS is to see people equipped, trained and released; who know who they are because they know who their God is, and want desperately to see this reality of heaven invading earth in every frontier. Throughout the school you will have an opportunity to grow in intimacy with God and share His hope and love with others. The emphasis of the outreach will be working with people with great physical and spiritual needs, combining sharing the gospel with mercy ministries to show the love of Christ. Lecture topics include hearing God’s voice, the father heart of God, evangelism, spiritual warfare, cross cultural missions, frontier nations, unreached people groups and spiritual gifts, among others.

Course Details

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Our Location

Our Campus

We have 500 acres of rugged, adventurous beauty at our Richardson Springs campus. From hiking to swimming to soccer or basketball, there are lots of fun activities to do with friends. Maybe you just want to have a cafe latte and spend some time with God beside the fireplace. There are many places to go and things to do here.


Though a city of more than 100,000, Chico retains a small town feel. It has a thriving downtown, several good farmers markets and a university. Chico is a bike town and is criss-crossed throughout with great trails. Bidwell park in the center of town is one of the largest municipal parks in the USA.

Sand & Snow

California’s geography makes various activities easily accessible. In a very short time, you can drive east to Lassen NP or Lake Tahoe to sled, ski or snowboard. Or you could drive west to the Pacific coast for a day at the beach. Nearby are also Lake Oroville and the Sacramento River.


Though we LOVE our rural location, and the small-town feel of Chico, we are a short drive from places like San Francisco, Sacramento, and Redding.

Be Inspired

Hear from world-class speakers from all over North America, who represent years of proven missionary experience on the field. Gain firm biblical foundations that you will apply to your own life and ministry wherever God takes you. Grow in your relationship with God and see how that impacts your reaching out to others.

Live & Learn

Education does not just take place in the classroom. Our live-learn training philosophy is based on having an environment where students, staff, teachers and families eat, study, work, and play in close proximity for maximized learning and mentoring opportunities. We sharpen each other, and learn to appreciate one another’s cultures and perspectives. Accommodation and dining for students, staff and volunteers is right on campus.

Missional Focus

Following the lecture phase will be 7 to 8 weeks of outreach to Asia, and 2 weeks of outreach in North America. This is not Christian tourism, but a physically, spiritually and emotionally challenging journey that provides a glimpse of cross-cultural missions as you serve alongside local believers, existing ministries, and long-term missionaries.

Your team will apply the skills you’ve learned during Lecture Phase. The main focus of every DTS outreach is reaching the lost. There will be diverse opportunities for service, but at the end of the day the goal of every outreach is to make God known in all the nations of the earth.

What you should know

Because it takes time to process applications, we ask that you apply as early as possible – particularly if you are a foreign student needing to apply for a visa as this can take several months.

Requirements: FDTS Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
U of N Credits: 20. (DSP 211, 212) These credits may be applied to a U of N degree program or transferred to other participating colleges or universities.
Students live in dormitory housing. You’ll have at least one roommate. Most rooms have a connected bathroom. Living, dining and kitchen areas are all shared spaces. All meals during the school are served in our hotel dining room.

From a resort hotel built in 1923 to a comprehensive campus that covers nearly 500 acres and includes more than 80 buildings, YWAM Chico is a pedestrian-friendly campus nestled in a beautiful canyon, with many open spaces and a park-like environment that enhances the natural beauty of the canyon ridges, woods and creeks. Our campus provides something for everyone. From miles of hiking trails to tennis and volleyball courts to our Olympic-sized swimming pool, there are endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Our expansive grounds provide ample space for spending time alone with God, or hanging out with people, or just getting away from it all. The hotel lobby has sitting areas, WiFi, a bookstore and a snack bar. You can visit our prayer room and soak in God’s presence, or jam in worship in Ebenezer Hall.  Get a Photo Tour of our campus.

A typical weekly schedule includes worship and intercession, small groups and one-on-one time with school staff, dynamic teaching, service assignments alongside full-time YWAM missionaries, and devotional time with God. You’ll also have plenty of time to spend with other students and to get to know our missionary staff. Some weekends have scheduled activities. Sundays are open for you to find a local church to join with in worship and fellowship.
Notification of acceptance is given upon receiving all your required forms. Once accepted, you will receive a list of what to bring, visa information and other specifics. Since there is limited space and staff, it is not always possible to accommodate everyone who applies. Whenever possible, applicants are referred to other training centers or given the option of waiting for an opening in the following school.
What you bring may vary, depending on different factors, such as season, outreach destination, etc. Every student should have a valid passport, and foreign students should have any necessary visas. You will have shared living areas, and especially on outreach, may have limited living and traveling space, so it is always a good idea to pack lightly. Once accepted to the course, you will receive a more detailed list of what to (and what not to) bring.
Having a child do DTS is often more of an exercise of trust for you as a parent than it is for your child. We want to do our best to eliminate any worries you may have so please feel free to contact our office from 9-5 every week day and we would love to answer any questions (1-530-893-6750). First though, we recommend visiting the YWAM international website with great content and insight from parents who have had their children participate in DTS.


Lecture Phase: March 1-May 19, 2017
Outreach & Debrief: May 20-August 5, 2017
Commissioning Ceremony: Aug 5, 2017

Registration Fees : $50 single $80 per couple (the registration fee must be sent in with the application)

Lecture Fees: $2995

Outreach Cost: $3200-$3,500 fees for outreach (food, transportation, and housing). Additional costs may include extra immunizations, visa, and/or passport costs.

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Tom & Karen Nicholas
Tom & Karen NicholasFDTS leader
Tom and Karen joined YWAM in August 2014 after completing their DTS here in Chico.
They came here with more than 25 years of experience in ministry to adults, children and youth. Tom holds a degree in Missions and Bible from Central Bible College. They have 4 grown children and 2 granddaughters.
Some of their adventures have taken them to Mexico, the Brazilian Amazon, and most recently, China.
Tom and Karen have a passion to disciple people of all ages in a close relationship with the Lord as well as reaching the lost with the love of the Father.

“I grew so much from my experience personally and God used me in so many ways! It was amazing to see God work in me in ways I didn’t think were possible.”

Steven Curl, 18 – Georgia, USA


The Next Step

DTS is only the beginning

The last week of DTS will be spent back in Chico, for a time to debrief and prepare for all God has for you next. Once you’ve finished DTS, you have an open door into further training and ministry within YWAM both in Chico and internationally. The opportunities for ministry – in YWAM and beyond – are endless. Prepare to be amazed at where God will take you! We’d love to help you get there.

Further Training in Chico
Further Training Internationally
Missions work in Chico
Missions work Worldwide