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Study: Life as a student

Both schools run once a year. The School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS) runs every spring (March or April start date), followed by the Bluewater DTS (June or July start date). Those who complete their SONS course have the option of staffing the Bluewater DTS as credit of outreach/sea-time.
DTS (Discipleship Training School) is the entry YWAM school that is standard at many bases around the world. It is broken into 2 parts: lecture phase and outreach with a focus on knowing God and making Him known.

SONS (School of Seamanship and Navigation) is a secondary course for those who have completed a DTS and feel called to continue serving in missions. It will be a major step to become competent crew on any of the YWAM ships world-wide and allow you to serve to a greater capacity. DTS is required before attending the SONS.

Yes, DTS is a preliminary requirement before you can do any other second level schools in YWAM’s training programs through the University of the Nations, or join staff.
The Bluewater DTS will circuit the Aegean Sea, mainly sailing during weekends and docking at a new port each week where a new speaker will be picked up and lectures will be had. Most sails will be less than 2 days long. We expect to sail to 5-8 different destinations, dependant on the amount of students applied.
Each day you will have activities such as bible studies, one-on-ones, lectures, work duties, and evening activities. There are also weekly corporate events such as the base worship, intercession, and Wednesday Community Night you will participate in. Your weekends may have some school activities but will generally be free for you to explore the ports, sail, and have some study and rest time. The weekly schedule will be included in the welcome pack upon being accepted to the DTS.
The Bluewater DTS will provide you with 24 credits with the University of the Nations.

The SONS (Navigation track) will give you 11 credits with University of the Nations.

The University of the Nations is YWAM’s way of training it’s missionaries. If you continue taking secondary courses you can earn an Associate or Bachelor’s degree. The U of N is currently an unaccredited institution in most countries, however, many Christian Universities recognize their course and they are often transferable.

Absolutely! DTS is just the beginning, it opens the door to further training and ministry. The opportunities, both in YWAM and beyond, are endless! Next Wave is a vessel dedicated to training and releasing the Next Wave of missionaries, which includes you! Prayerfully consider furthering your skills as a sailor through the School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS) or joining crew after DTS completion.

Course fees cover accommodation, three meals + one snack per day, and lecture materials.

Flights and transportation to and from training are not covered.  

If you have previously completed an STCW Basic Training, you will receive a £500 discount for the Bluewater DTS and a £350 discount for the SONS. 

No other financial assistance programs are available at this time.

All of our crew and students trust and rely on God for the finances they need to live and study.  We firmly believe that God is our source of provision and believe in His faithfulness.  We strongly encourage that you do not let finances hinder you from coming. We have seen time and again the amazing ways God provides and encourage you to take a step of faith in relying on Him for all your needs. Please feel free to contact us for any other questions you may have concerning fundraising.

There is no age limit however, DTS students are required to be 18 years of age or older and hold a high school diploma (or equivalent), which is a prerequisite to the SONS.

Dates are chosen to ensure that the free Schengen Visa will be enough to cover MOST trainees through the courses.  If you are a non-EU citizen of a country honored by the Schengen visa agreement and are in the Schengen area before or want to stay after the course, you may be required to apply for different visa upon the conclusion of the Schengen visa time frame.  

Each situation will be evaluated individually, and may need a diffrent course of action based on your nationallity.

Course fees do NOT include immigration or visa fees.

Serve: Life as Crew

This can vary depending on how much training and sea experience you have. Those who have invested in training will be considered for discounted staffing fees.
A typical crew commitment is 2 years. This however, is not necessarily spent just on the Next Wave but on numerous YWAM vessels and will include time for returning home as well as furthering your training (both of which are encouraged).
Crew roles vary and change with each season and will reflect your own training, skills, and calling. You will likely switch roles multiple times throughout your staffing commitment. Crewing is a time where you get to serve but also a time where you get to develop your identity in Christ and gifts and abilities through mentorship and training. Some examples of roles include; DTS staff, galley (kitchen), deck hand (maintenance), hospitality, and purser (administration).
Absolutely! We encourage not to let lack of experience be a hindrance in your decision making process. We love training – it’s the core of our ministry! As long as you have a willing and teachable spirit and heart to serve we would love to have you on board whether an able seaman or a ‘landlubber,’ there’s a place for you to be used by God on our vessel!
Every Crew is required to have successfully complete a DTS and a STCW Basic Training. It is also strongly recommended to have completed the SONS course. Those who have not previously completed the SONS course will have the opportunity to do so during their Crew commitment.
A long-term Crew commitment is 2 or more years. A short-term Crew commitment is typically anywhere from 3 months to a year (often the length of staffing one school). Short-term Crew is available on a case by case basis and dependent on time of year and current needs.
Crew will typically be on a seamanship visa (this requires an STCW to be completed). However, visa needs may change dependent on situation, nationality etc. When you submit your application we will assess your specific situation and let you know the best option.
No, Next Wave Crew can complete a DTS at any YWAM base. The Bluewater DTS is recommended for crew as it includes basic seamanship training within the syllabus.

SAIL: Life on board the Next Wave

The Next Wave has 44 berths, 7 toilets & 5 showers, a large saloon and a library – people are always surprised how big the sailing vessel is once they get inside. On the main deck is the wheelhouse (bridge), navigation office and our Director/Captain’s office. One floor below is the crew accommodation, the galley, and our main saloon (where we can seat 40 people for a meal and have seated 50 people for a port reception). The main saloon is the main room on board, it is the lounge, dining room, hang-out place, meeting room, and where the crew meet to worship and pray. We also have a projector on board so film nights are common.
As can be expected, living quarters are significantly smaller on a ship than on land. You will be sharing a room with 4-6 other individuals. We advise you to travel light, as during your outreach phase you will have to carry all your belongings and will not be able to store them on s/y Next Wave. Each room has a sink and minimal storage facilities. The berths have individual reading lights and a curtain so you can have some private space. There are toilets and showers on each deck of the ship. Living in close quarters often requires some self-sacrifice but also provides the opportunity for closer community.
Different people have different sensitises to motion. If you have a high susceptibility to motion sickness, you are more likely to be prone to sea sickness. Most get used to the motion after a few days of sailing, but there are also many natural and pharmaceutical solutions to negate it including; anti-sea sickness pills, ginger, essential oils, and bracelets that push on pressure points.
The weather is typical to the Northern Hemisphere. Cold in the winters, but rarely snowing and very warm and dry in the summers. You should plan to pack accordingly to the season you will be on board. Contact us for more specific information.