The Around the World in 80 Days Discipleship Training School has a focus of frontier missions. This school’s goal is to offer an outreach which exposes young people to several different countries where long-term missionaries currently reside. The emphasis is to visit and serve missionaries out in the field, as well as be inspired by their obedience to the Great Commission of Jesus and the work they are doing.
Graduation is on the Mount of Olives where students are commissioned from Jerusalem to the nations.
Outreach teams visit approximately five countries in one of the following regions: Africa, South America, the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia, Far East Asia. Teams participate in a variety of ministry opportunities, which could include children’s ministry, prayer walking, preaching in churches and home groups, prison ministry, teaching English, and practical mercy ministry.
At the end of outreach, all the teams meet up for graduation in Israel. While here the school visits various sites in the Holy Land, walking where Jesus walked and gaining new insights into both the biblical history of Israel and current issues facing the nation today.
Time in Israel also allows the teams to unite, debrief, and share their experiences with one another. This school has a strong mission emphasis, and each student will be encouraged to consider taking further training for long-term missions. On the last day of the school, the students will be commissioned on the Mount of Olives, the same location where Jesus said to His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19).
The concept for this school was inspired by an article by Ralph Winters, founder of the U.S. Centre for World Missions. In his 2002 editorial in the Frontier Missions magazine, he asked why, despite forty years of short-term mission trips out of the U.S., exposing millions of young people to the reality and needs of the unreached world, the long-term missions force continued to decline.
His conclusion was that most of these young people had been exposed to the Third World and its needs, but few had been purposefully introduced to long-term workers from their own cultures. These are workers who are committed to the long haul, having sacrificed everything for the sake of taking the Gospel to the unreached. Winters believed that a focused exposure such as this would help young people identify with long-term, committed missionaries.
Thus, the YWAM Oxford base created the Around the World in 80 Days DTS. Students have the opportunity to travel the world with Christians of their own age and common interests; to be inspired and challenged as they experience the joys and sorrows of people from many diverse cultures. As the students are exposed to frontier missions, they are equally exposed to God’s world; His amazingly diverse and awesome creation.