Endurance Discipleship Training School

We’re looking for anyone with a passion to serve Christ and a passion for outdoor adventure to be a part of Endurance DTS (EDTS) in this unique avenue of outdoor ministry. EDTS is a five-month discipleship program devoted to knowing God and making Him known throughout the world and within the outdoor industry. During the EDTS adventure, students will learn about God’s character and nature, participate in discipleship groups and lectures, build skill sets for both the backcountry and mission field, and reach out to the outdoor industry on a global scale. The first three months will be spent living and learning in Montana, both in the classroom and in the backcountry. Our final two months will be spent on outreach where we will go into the remote places to share the gospel and reach out to trekkers, travelers, adventurers, backpackers, and whomever else God lays in our path around the world.

The vision for the Endurance DTS outdoor ministry is to take students deeper into their own discipleship journey with Christ, and then give them the tools to reach out to others, particularly within the outdoor industry. We know that people on a trip, trek or great adventure are often seeking deeper spiritual revelation as they journey, and God has given us a desire to reach out and meet these individuals along the way. Endurance DTS aims to equip our students to engage with both the lost and trekker/adventurers, and to testify to Christ’s saving grace and faithfulness with credibility and confidence.


Upcoming Schools

  • Summer 2017

    • Start Date:06/19/17
    • End Date:12/01/17
    • Total Cost:USD 8,300
      Apply By Dates
    • By Applicant Nationality
    • African:12/21/16
    • Canadian:05/20/17
    • International:02/19/17
    • Domestic:06/05/17
    Apply Online Chat Now
  • Summer 2018

    • Start Date:06/18/18
    • End Date:11/30/18
    • Total Cost:USD 8,300
      Apply By Dates
    • By Applicant Nationality
    • African:12/20/17
    • Canadian:05/19/18
    • International:02/18/18
    • Domestic:06/04/18
    Apply Online Chat Now
Apply By Dates

The "Apply By Dates" are dates that are generated by your nationality, and our Registrar's estimation of time needed to properly process and acquire all the materials necessary for any student to attend one of our schools. If you have missed the apply by date set for your nationality and are still interested in attending the school, please feel free to email our Registrar's Office at registrar@ywammontana.org to see if applying is still a possibility.



Weekly Schedule

The lecture phase of Endurance DTS aims to help students develop their relationship with God, provide a foundation for missions, outdoor ministry and sharing the Gospel, and to give opportunities for impact within the outdoor industry. Our three-month lecture phase is unique in that it takes place both on our YWAM campus and in the backcountry. We'll spend approximately four weeks camping, hiking, and backpacking in the surrounding areas and national parks, participating in DTS lectures and experiencing life in the backcountry where we will be developing translatable mission-field skills and reaching out to those we meet along the way.

Lectures 12 Hours/Week

12 Hours/Week

Students will learn from a variety of speakers on topics foundational to discipleship and missions. The format of DTS focuses on one subject per week, giving students an overview of discipleship as well as opportunities to apply learned principles to their lives.

Small Groups 3 Hours/Week

3 Hours/Week

During lecture phase you will meet with a small group of the same gender, along with a DTS missionary member and discuss the week's topics. You will also be discussing what God has been doing in your life personally and learning more about who God is through open, healthy relationships with others.

One on Ones 1 Hours/Week

1 Hours/Week

Students will process their own areas of growth and discipleship individually with a DTS missionary member.

Worship & Intercession 8 Hours/Week

8 Hours/Week

At YWAM Montana, along with YWAM International, we value Worship and Intercession. During the course of lecture phase students will spend time in worship and in prayer for others.

Outreach Preparation 4 Hours/Week

4 Hours/Week

Although you are in lecture phase, you will still be preparing for your outreach phase and engaging in outdoor ministry on a weekly basis. Students and outreach leaders will prepare together as a team for outreach. Preparation includes activities such as learning about the culture and nation, practicing dramas and music, intercession for the nation, and preparing to carry out YWAM's three-fold ministry focus of training, evangelism and mercy ministry in the country or location where they are going.

Outdoor Skills 10 Hours/Week

10 Hours/Week

Students and YWAM missionary members will learn and practice a variety of outdoor activities that are both relevant to our area in Montana and that can function as skills that easily translate into outreach skills and be integrated into a lifestyle of outdoor ministry. Our outdoor curriculum includes skills and activities such as rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, backcountry cooking, water sanitation and hygiene, archery, mountain biking, mountaineering, camping, fishing, orienteering, bear awareness and safety training, Leave No Trace principles, team-building and group dynamics activities, ropes courses, and many others.

Work Duties 8 Hours/Week

8 Hours/Week

At YWAM Montana we believe in a servant-hearted attitude and lifestyle. So as a part of the EDTS curriculum, you will serve in different areas on our campus for 2 hours a day during the week. You will serve in areas like: Meal prep, Meal clean-up, housekeeping, facilities, maintenance, etc.


Endurance DTS has a two-month outreach phase with a two-fold focus. Our aim is to reach out directly to those in the outdoor industry in some capacity, by placing ourselves among trekkers, adventurers, campers, and other outdoor ministry enthusiasts, and/or to use our backcountry and outdoor skills to go to the harder and more remote places and reach those that otherwise might not hear the Gospel.

Partnerships & Friends of EDTS

Endurance DTS is committed to helping outdoor enthusiasts and outdoor organizations reach their goals.  We value teamwork and collaboration among outdoor industry professionals, businesses and outdoor ministries.  We are grateful to belong to a network of professional outdoor organizations and are always looking to strengthen the relationships we have with the numerous friends of EDTS.

Leave No Trace_logo_tagline_url

Endurance DTS is committed to environmental stewardship.  We are a non-profit member of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.  The practice of the seven Leave No Trace principles form the foundation for our EDTS outdoor curriculum both here in the mountains of NW Montana and throughout the world.

Seven Principles:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors





Since the beginning of EDTS in 2011, it has been a privilege to serve with In His Wakes and to help them accomplish their goals through their Day 2 Remember events.  We’ve also been blessed by their encouragement in outdoor ministry and by the fun days on the water that they’ve facilitated for our EDTS students and staff!

Rocky Mountain Outfitter has been instrumental in the development EDTS outdoor skills and activities. Offering experience, expert advice, consultation and service, our friends at RMO are our go-to outfitters and gear providers. Even before EDTS started in 2011, RMO helped us get our Adventure Track off the ground in 2009 and 2010.

YWAM Montana – Lakeside’s EDTS is proud to be a host site for Aerie Backcountry Medicine.  We have hosted multiple courses since our partnership began in 2012 and over 50 EDTS staff and students have participated in Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Advanced First Aid and Wilderness First Responder recertification courses.  Our EDTS school leader will be participating in Aerie’s 4-week Wilderness EMT program in May 2015. EDTS is also proud to use the Aerie Level I Trauma First Aid Kit on our treks and outreaches.  

We’re privileged to partner with Nomad Global Communication Solutions.  Nomad has been instrumental in helping us develop our backcountry communications capabilities and served EDTS by providing logistical and strategic transportation solutions.


School Leaders

Nathan & Betsy Russell

Nathan is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Grand Rapids, MI. He graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI with a BA in Psychology and worked professionally as the HR director at Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies in Winter Park, CO. In 2004 Nathan thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.

Betsy grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, attending Calvin College and graduated with a degree in Religion/Theology. Post-college Betsy worked for Calvin College and Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, IL post-college. She grew up camping and traveling all over the world with her family which has instilled a die-hard sense of adventure!

In 2008, Nathan and Betsy did their DTS at YWAM Montana - Lakeside and never left. Nathan and Betsy co-lead the Endurance DTS in the summers, share the position of Campus Administrators throughout the rest of the year and serve on the base council. They have two children that accompany the EDTS team on most activities.

Tyson Kehler

Originally from Dalmeny Saskatchewan, Canada, Tyson did his DTS in the Winter of 2013 followed by an SBS in 2013-2014 and then joined the YWAM Montana community full-time. He has taken multiple outreach teams to Nepal - backpacking and trekking throughout the country with a focus on reaching the unreached with the good news of Jesus. Tyson enjoys the outdoors and the different seasons that Montana brings. In the winter you can find him in Whitefish snowboarding and in the summers rock climbing or down by the lake slack lining. Tyson tries to live his life by James 2:18...But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."

What People Are Saying

Whole Heartedly Recommend EDTS

What a pleasure it was to have my son Luke participate in the Lakeside, Montana EDTS.

My wife Bev and I have seven children. Luke is the fifth to do a DTS. As Luke began communicating with the Lakeside Base about the EDTS they offer, we looked through the planned studies and items needed, questioning several times whether or not the indicated material on endurance topics truly was going to be covered and whether or not everything on the list would be needed. It seemed too extensive to really cover all of it in 5 months along with the classical DTS teachings. After Luke’s participation, what we discovered is that yes, the course outline was real; it was well followed and implemented with quality, qualified teachers in each specialized area. Concerning the materials used, yes all requested items and other items provided by the base were taught regarding their proper use and then were used in real life experiences. Yes, the EDTS is a real DTS, not just a fun time. Godly instruction and specialized training in hiking, camping, first aid, rock climbing, etc. were all provided with excellence.

Arriving at the base for the closing week and graduation my heart feeling was, “This is a safe place for growth and maturing.” Bev and I are are thankful for the character development and skill sets our son learned during the EDTS. We look forward to continued contact, relationship and cooperation with YWAM Lakeside, Montana as Luke continues his mission experiences and growth there.

We whole heartedly recommend the EDTS at YWAM Lakeside, Montana.

Paz y bien,
Earl and Bev Rutledge
Missionaries in Nicaragua

- Earl & Bev Rutledge, Student's Parents

Find Us

(406) - 844 - 2221
YWAM Montana | Lakeside
501 Blacktail Rd.
Lakeside MT, 59922
United States
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We are currently looking for full-time volunteers to fill these staff positions: Housekeeping.