Do you have a heart for adventure and serving the unreached? Do you feel called to be a part of the ever expanding YWAM ships ministry? The School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS) is designed to help you do just that by giving you a solid foundation of being a godly seafarers to serve on-board ministry vessels worldwide.

This course is SCI 221 part of the College of Science & Technology from the University of the Nations Colleges and Centres.

What is SONS?

The aim of the SONS is to equip YWAMers with the basic knowledge and skills to help them become qualified crew in order to serve God and bless the needy through YWAM Ships globally. Our vessels need both qualified seafarers and passionate missionaries to meet the great task before us and embrace the opportunities God has given us in this age. Though this marine training, both these needs can be met and allow blessings to set sail.


The first 5-weeks of the course will focus on the seamanship module. We will launch the first two-weeks at YWAM Croatia for the STCW Basic Training course and team building, then continuing the rest of the course in Lesvos, Greece on-board the YWAM vessel S/Y Next Wave.  The seamanship weeks will provide you with the basic knowledge and practical experience to being a quality deckhand on-board any ship, and will be a step in the direction of becoming a certified Able Seafarer. Seamanship will include: vessel familiarization, basic sailing theory, safety, deck work, and practical sailing service.  Students will have the option to end their training after the end of the seamanship module and begin practical service, or continue the course and learn navigational skills.

Following the seamanship module will be, a seven-week intensive navigational course that is designed for those who wish to progress to be a ship’s deck officer.  The course will focus on chart work, tidal theory, meteorology, and passage planning. Those who complete this full SONS will sit the RYA Day Skipper theory examination at the end of the lecture phase. Upon passing your exams at the end of the lecture phase, you will receive the following: RYA/MCA Day Skipper/Watch Leader Theory Certificate, RYA Radar Course Certificate, you will meet the qualifications to apply for a Malta Seafarer’s Book, you will also be on your way towards the International Shipping Federation (ISF) Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch certificate, and will be set to pursue higher legal certifications in the maritime field.

This school is offered in partnership with YWAM Harpenden

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wilder seas Where storms will show Your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars.

Sir Francis Drake

See the Adventure

School Details


Submit your application here and let the adventure begin!


Send us an email or check out our FAQ page to see if your answer is there.

First things first

Discipleship Training School is a six-month adventure that will deepen your faith and challenge you to live a life worthy of the calling God has given you. It is the entry level YWAM course that includes a 3 month Bible school and a 3 month mission trip. DTS is mandatory before any staffing or secondary schools. Click here to learn more about the Bluewater DTS aboard the Next Wave.