EST. 1985

Over half the population of the world lives under governments that restrict the entry of foreign religious workers. Although missionaries are not welcome, people with nation building skills, such as English teachers, are welcomed. For approximately 60 nations in the world, being a skilled worker is the major means of gaining entry. For 33 nations, it is the only means of entry. Whether or not you have training in this area, TESOL is a course that will equip you with skills that can open many doors of opportunity in restricted access nations, and among our many multicultural neighbors.

The need

There are two billion people all over the world right now learning the English language. It’s the most widely learned and sought after second language in the world. And that’s where you come in.

Because so many people want to learn English, most missionaries from North America find themselves teaching in classrooms at some point during their overseas ministry. A large number of YWAM’s ministries around the world use English classes as a tool for evangelization and building relationships in their communities. Many of YWAM Montana-Lakeside’s outreach teams spend at least part of their time teaching English to locals or university students, and most of those missionaries have never had any formal training as language teachers.

It’s because of this need for teachers that our TESOL program was created. This five week course is designed to quickly and effectively train any English speaker as a fully certified English teacher.. The certification given at Lakeside is also very unique to YWAM since our graduates are not only certified by YWAM’s University of the Nations but also receive a second TESOL certification through a recognized training institute in Australia. It’s this secular Certificate IV that unlocks many doors overseas, and many of our graduates have gone on to work in some of the hardest to reach nations on the planet.

The most intensive, the most rewarding

There is no doubt that TESOL is one of the most intensive schools in all of YWAM. It is also one of the most rewarding, as it will give you an international certification and the practical skills needed to become an English teacher in any country on the mission field—and all of this in only five action-packed weeks.

Highly concentrated in both learning and application, the program lasts from 8 am to 9:30 pm Monday through Friday, comprising more than 100 hours of lectures and small group presentations. Each morning will begin with worship and intercession, followed by lectures. Afternoons and evenings are spent in additional lecture, optional focus workshops, preparing lesson plans, and completing assignments.

Throughout the duration of the course, some evenings will be devoted to the Practicum—the section of the course that includes hands-on experience with over 20 hours of realistic on-the-job practice teaching with English-language learners from a variety of nations. In the Practicum, the TESOL student now becomes the teacher—applying all that he or she has learned during lectures.


The program is from 8 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday, comprising more than 100 hours of lectures and small group presentations. This will include oral and written assignments and assessment. Weekday evenings will be used for Practicum, the section of the course that includes hands-on experience with more than 20 hours of realistic on-the-job practice teaching with English-language students from a variety of nations.


During the instruction portion of this course, students can expect many hours of lecture on topics relevant to English teaching as Christian mission. Most lectures includes thought-provoking conversations and stand-on-your-feet activities, designed to keep you actively learning throughout this intense program. Small groups are often used to facilitate and inspire discussions and to create common partnerships and presentations.


Practicum is when the student becomes the teacher. It is designed to give every TESOL graduate hands-on experience in a real language classroom. Classes are taught in teams, and evaluations are given by both peers and TESOL instructors alike. Many life-changing friendships have been made in our Practicum classrooms, a testament to the power of teacher-student relationships and the promise of every TESOL graduate's future as a true world-changer.

Work Duties

As a school, we join together with other students on base to help care for the facilities with which we've been blessed. These work duties often include either housekeeping, meal preparation or meal clean-up. At YWAM Montana we believe in creating a "live/learn" environment, a philosophy based on the idea of establishing a community where students, staff, and teachers live, eat, work, and study in close proximity for maximized learning opportunities.

Lesson Preparation and Study

A few hours of each day will be set aside for students to prepare and complete their assignments. Occasionally, evenings may be spent studying for quizzes and completing written assignments. On Practicum days, students spend part of the afternoon planning lessons with their Practicum team; the rest of the afternoon is spent completing other assignments, work duties, focus workshops, or leisure activities.

Optional Focus Workshops

Occasionally, during the afternoon and evenings we will have opportunities for students to either gain practical skills or deepen their understanding in topics introduced during the morning lectures. These seminars are completely optional and students will be given personalized instruction to suit their individual needs.

Focus workshops will include the following sessions:

  • The iPad as a tool for teachers
  • Blended Learning and other modern Education trends
  • Basic computer skills and resources
  • Video lecture series
  • and More...
Worship & Intercession

At YWAM Montana, along with YWAM International, we value Worship and Intercession. We also think it's a great way to start your day. During TESOL you will have at least 2.5 hours of intercessory prayer and 2.5 hours of corporate worship each week.


Throughout the duration of the school, we will occasionally drive to a neighboring city and complete the Practicum element of the school. It's a short drive and transportation is provided. A TESOL classic happens every Friday during Practicum when we go out for ice cream with our English students in town. Also, be sure to look out for a moose on the ride back to the YWAM base.

School Leaders
Andrew & Cortnie Brooks

Andrew is originally from California and he currently resides here at YWAM Montana-Lakeside with his wife, Cortnie, and their two sons, Eoghan and Finn. Andrew has been working with TESOL seminars in Lakeside since 2009. In fall 2012, he completed his DTS here at Lakeside along with his family, and their outreach was to Reykjavik, Iceland. Andrew has a heart for inspiring and equipping others to fulfill their dreams and all God has for them. He loves to spend time outdoors hiking and backpacking, watching movies with subtitles, and he makes a mean cappuccino.

Cortnie is from Oakhurst, California. She attended her DTS at YWAM Montana-Lakeside in fall of 2003, and her outreach was to England and Northern Ireland. She now lives in Lakeside with her husband, Andrew, and their two beautiful boys, Eoghan and Finnegan. She has been staffing and leading TESOL seminars at Lakeside since 2009. Cortnie has a heart for seeing people grow to their full potential and daring them to dream the biggest of dreams. She always likes reading a good book, growing peppers in her garden, and drinking coffee with friends. And she loves collating.