This is us

What great things God has accomplished here.

To Know God and To Make Him Known

Here in the heart of East Texas, you will find a springboard to the nations. Come join a culturally diverse group of students and staff who dive into the pursuit of knowing God and making Him known. We learn how to hear the voice of God, and we make a lifestyle of depending on and following Him.

Thousands of people have developed a personal and intimate relationship with God over the past 30 plus years through our ministry. There is really nothing like knowing God, hearing His voice for yourself and experiencing the adventure that comes with obedience. With eyes fixed on Christ, our staff are here to help you develop a meaningful walk with God, find your purpose and call and be launched into a life of Christian ministry.

Our goal is to equip you to better know the Lord, and provide opportunities that you might impact others who do not know Christ.  YWAM TYLER is a “Discipling Center that Pioneers,” helping you become more Christ-centered, share your faith, and begin new ministries that honor God and change the world.

Serving worldwide, we are involved with spreading the Good News, providing health care, relief work, English courses, impacting societies with the Gospel message, and more as we seek to make God known.

Our History 

Our Youth With A Mission campus is located just north of Tyler. It is one of the key international training and sending centers for YWAM. Each year YWAM Tyler trains and sends hundreds of young people, from many nations and backgrounds, to affect those influential spheres of society in the transformation of nations.   All of this training takes place right here in the heart of East Texas.

In 1980, Leland and Fran Paris, the campus founders purchased the 365 acre Twin Oaks Ranch outside Tyler, Texas. They, along with approximately 200 staff, moved from New Jersey to East Texas to pioneer what is now YWAM Tyler. This is the present headquarters for our training and outreach programs.

The main campus and headquarters of YWAM Tyler, housed at Twin Oaks Ranch, was originally owned by David Wilkerson of “The Cross and the Switchblade”.  He sensed that God wanted YWAM to have this property. He felt that he was to sell the property to YWAM for 10 cents on the dollar and it has been a gift from God ever since!  For the last 30 plus years, thousands of young people have been trained in Discipleship Training Schools, Schools of Evangelism, and other missionary training schools in order to be launched into global missions.

YWAM Tyler has three local campuses and has also planted over 60 bases in various parts of the world.  Five satellite bases in the US have also been pioneered; four in the urban cities of New Orleans, Dallas, Houston and Chicago, and one in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Our Mission

In the effort to obey the Lord’s command in Matthew 28:19, 20 and Mark 16:15, there are several directives from God that we have identified. These guide how we move together to impact the world.

WE ARE CALLED TO DISCIPLE on two levels

Individuals (Mark 16:15)
Nations (Matthew 28:19 & 20)

WE ARE CALLED TO CHAMPION YOUTH…

…in accomplishing the above goals. This includes addressing the present needs of youth in American society, as well as being particularly geared to train and send youth to the nations.

WE ARE CALLED TO AMERICA

God has specifically placed us in the geographical borders of America to help rebuild and maintain the Christian foundations and purposes that He has given to this nation (Matthew 5 and Psalms 11). As we train and disciple, we are to teach the responsibility that God has placed upon this country in His strategy to evangelize the world. This teaching emphasis should go from the classroom to shaping the ministry to the Church from this center.

WE ARE CALLED TO THE WHOLE WORLD

We will continue to send teams and pioneer new frontiers globally.

WE ARE CALLED TO LINK STRATEGICALLY…

…with Asian youth to see the Gospel move westward. We are to embrace and seek to accomplish God’s desire in linking with Asian youth through training, discipleship, and co-laboring in Asia to both disciple individuals and nations.

WE ARE CALLED TO INFLUENCE SOCIETIES…

…in the seven areas that form the concepts of how a nation functions – family, church, business, education, arts, media, and government. All of our ministries here at this center will flow together to contribute to this task. We will have many expressions of this calling from our center, but this spirit must be the heart of what motivates us in every expression.

Our 18 Foundational Values

1. KNOW GOD

YWAM is committed to know God, His nature, His character and His ways as revealed in the Bible, the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We seek to reflect who He is in every aspect of our lives and ministry. The automatic overflow of knowing and enjoying fellowship with God is a desire to share Him with others. (2Ki 19:19; Job 42:5; Psa 46:10; Psa 103:7-13; Jer 9:23-24; Hos 6:3; Joh 17:3; Eph 1:16-17; Php 3:7-11; 1Jo 2:4-6)
 
2. MAKE HIM KNOWN
YWAM is called to make God known throughout the whole world, and into every arena of society through evangelism, training and mercy ministries. We believe that salvation of souls should result in transformation of societies thus obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. (1Ch 16:24-27; Psa 68:11; Psa 71:15-16; Psa 145:4-7; Mat 28:18-20; Mar 16:15; Act 1:8; Act 13:1-4a; Rom 10:8-15; Rom 15:18-21)
 
3. HEAR GOD'S VOICE
YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying His prayers and obeying His commands in matters great and small. We are dependent upon hearing His voice as individuals, together in team contexts and in larger gatherings, as an integral part of our process for decision making. (1Sa 3:7-10; 2Ch 15:2-4; Psa 25:14; Isa 6:8; Amo 3:7; Luk 9:35; Joh 10:1-5; Joh 16:13-15; Heb 3:7-8,15; Rev 2:7,11,17,27; 3:6,13,22)
 
4. PRACTICE WORSHIP AND INTERCESSORY PRAYER
YWAM is dedicated to worship God and engage in intercessory prayer as integral aspects of daily life. We also recognize the intent of Satan to destroy the work of God and we rely upon God’s empowering presence, the Holy Spirit, to overcome Satan’s strategies in the lives of individuals and in the affairs of nations. (1Sa 7:5; 2Ch 7:4; Psa 84:1-8; Psa 95:6-7; Psa 100:1-5; Mar 11:24-25; Act 1:14; Eph 6:13-20; 1Th 5:16-19; 1Ti 2:1-4)
 
5. BE VISIONARY
YWAM is called to be visionary, continually receiving, nurturing and releasing fresh vision from God. We support the pioneering of new ministries and methods, always willing to be radical in order to be relevant to every generation, people group, and sphere of society. We believe that the apostolic call of YWAM requires the integration of spiritual eldership, freedom in the Spirit and relationship, centered on the Word of God. (Num 12:6; 1Sa 12:16; Pro 29:18; Eze 1:1; Hab 2:2 3; Mar 1:35-39; Luk 9:1-6; Act 16:9-10; Act 26:19; 2Pe 3:9-13)
 
6. CHAMPION YOUNG PEOPLE
YWAM is called to champion youth. We believe God has gifted and called young people to spearhead vision and ministry. We are committed to value, trust, train, support and make space in order to release them. They are not only the Church of the future; they are the Church of today. We commit to follow where they lead, in the will of God. (1Sa 17:32-50; Ecc 4:13-14; Ecc 12:1-7; Jer 1:5-10; Dan 1:17-20; Joe 2:28; Joh 6:9; Act 16:1-5; 1Ti 4:12-16; 1Jo 2:12-14)
 
7. BE DECENTRALIZED
YWAM is a Christ-centered, faith-based global volunteer movement, united by shared vision, core beliefs, foundational values and relationships. We do not have a centralized structure. Every YWAM ministry has the privilege and spiritual responsibility to develop and maintain healthy relationships with appropriate authorities and circles of elders. (Exo 18:13-26; Num 1:16-19; Num 11:16-17,24-30; Deu 29:10-13; Jos 23:1-24:28; Act 14:23; Act 15:1-31; 1Co 3:4-11; Tit 1:5-9; Heb 13:7,17)
 
8. BE INTERNATIONAL AND INTERDENOMINATIONAL
YWAM is international and interdenominational in its global scope as well as its local constituency. We believe that ethnic, linguistic and denominational diversity, along with redeemed aspects of culture, are positive factors that contribute to the health and growth of the Mission. (Gen 12:1-4; Gen 26:2-5; Psa 57:9-10; Jer 32:27; Dan 7:13-14; Act 20:4; 1Co 12:12-31; Eph 4:1-16; Col 3:11; Rev 7:9)
 
9. HAVE A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
YWAM is called to a biblical Christian worldview. We believe that the Bible—the textbook for all of life—makes a clear division between good and evil; right and wrong. The practical dimensions of life are no less spiritual than the ministry expressions. Everything done in obedience to God is spiritual. We seek to honor God with all that we do, equipping and mobilizing men and women of God to take roles of service and influence in every arena of society. (Deu 8:1-3; Deu 32:45-47; 2Ki 22:8; Psa 19:7-11; Luk 8:21; Joh 8:31-32; Php 4:8-9; 2Ti 3:16 17; Heb 4:12-13; Jam 4:17)
 
10. FUNCTION IN TEAMS
YWAM is called to function in teams in all aspects of ministry and leadership. We believe that a combination of complementary gifts, callings, perspectives, ministries and generations working together in unity at all levels of our Mission provides wisdom and safety. Seeking God’s will and making decisions in a team context allows accountability and contributes to greater relationship, motivation, responsibility and ownership of the vision. (Deu 32:30-31; 2Ch 17:7-9; Pro 15:22; Ecc 4:9-12; Mar 6:7-13; Rom 12:3-10; 2Co 1:24; Eph 5:21; Php 2:1-2; 1Pe 4:8)
 
11. EXHIBIT SERVANT LEADERSHIP
YWAM is called to servant leadership as a lifestyle, rather than a leadership hierarchy. A servant leader is one who honors the gifts and callings of those under his/her care and guards their rights and privileges. Just as Jesus served His disciples, we stress the importance of those with leadership responsibilities serving those whom they lead. (Deu 10:12-13; Psa 84:10; Isa 42:1-4; Mic 6:8; Mar 10:42-45; Joh 13:3-17; Rom 16:1-2; Gal 5:13-14; Php 2:3-11; 1Pe 4:10-11)
 
12. DO FIRST THEN TEACH
YWAM is committed to doing first, then teaching. We believe that firsthand experience gives authority to our words. Godly character and a call from God are more important than an individual’s gifts, abilities and expertise. (Deu 4:5-8; Ezr 7:10; Psa 51:12-13; Psa 119:17-18; Pro 1:1-4; Mat 7:28-29; Act 1:1-2; Col 3:12 17; 2Ti 4:1-5; 2Pe 1:5-10)
 
13. BE RELATIONSHIP-ORIENTED
YWAM is dedicated to being relationship-oriented in our living and working together. We desire to be united through lives of holiness, mutual support, transparency, humility, and open communication, rather than a dependence on structures or rules. (Lev 19:18; Psa 133:1-3; Pro 17:17; Pro 27:10; Joh 13:34-35; Joh 15:13-17; Joh 17:20-23; Rom 13:8-10; 1Jo 1:7; 1Jo 4:7-12)
 
14. VALUE THE INDIVIDUAL
YWAM is called to value each individual. We believe in equal opportunity and justice for all. Created in the image of God, people of all nationalities, ages and functions have distinctive contributions and callings. We are committed to honoring God-given leadership and ministry gifts in both men and women. (Gen 1:27; Lev 19:13-16; Deu 16:18-20; Psa 139:13-16; Mar 8:34 37; Act 10:34-35; Gal 3:28; Eph 6:5-9; Heb 2:11-12; Jam 2:1-9)
 
15. VALUE FAMILIES
YWAM affirms the importance of families serving God together in missions, not just the father and/or mother. We also embrace the inclusion of single-parent families. We encourage the development of strong and healthy family units, with each member sharing the call to missions and contributing their gifts in unique and complementary ways. We uphold and celebrate the biblical view that God’s intent for holy matrimony is between one man and one woman. (Gen 2:21-24; Gen 18:17 19; Deu 6:6-7; Pro 5:15-23; Pro 31:10-31; Mal 2:14-16; Mat 19:3-9; 1Co 7:1-16; 1Ti 3:2-5; Heb 13:4)
 
16. PRACTICE DEPENDENCE ON GOD
YWAM is called to practice a life of dependence upon God for financial provision. For individuals and for any YWAM team or community, this comes primarily through His people. As God has been generous toward us, so we desire to be generous, giving ourselves, our time and talents to God with no expectation of remuneration. (Gen 22:12-14; Exo 36:2-7; Num 18:25-29; Mal 3:8-12; Mat 6:25-33; Luk 19:8-9; 2Co 8:1-9:15; Php 4:10-20; Tit 3:14; 3Jo 5-8)
 
17. PRACTICE HOSPITALITY
YWAM affirms the ministry of hospitality as an expression of God’s character and the value of people. We believe it is important to open our hearts, homes, YWAM locations and campuses to serve and honor one another, our guests and the poor and needy, not as acts of social protocol, but as expressions of generosity. (Gen 18:1-8; 2Sa 9:1-11; Psa 68:5-6; Pro 22:9; Isa 58:7; Mat 25:31 46; Act 28:7-8; Rom 12:13; Heb 13:1-3; 1Pe 4:9)
 
18. COMMUNICATE WITH INTEGRITY
YWAM affirms that everything exists because God communicates. Therefore, YWAM is committed to truthful, accurate, timely and relevant communication. We believe good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families and communities, and effective ministry. (Gen 1:3-5; Num 23:19; Pro 10:19; Pro 25:9-14; Zec 8:16-17; Mat 5:33-37; Luk 4:16-22; Joh 1:1 5; Col 4:6; Jam 3:1-18)

Our Ministries

God has blessed us with amazing opportunities to start brand new works around the USA and the world.

YWAM Tyler's Ministries

ywam tyler dts outreach speaking in school in Tanzania

Join a Discipleship Training School

Carve out space and time in your life to really get to know God deeply, activate your faith, and build deep friendships in authentic community. The DTS is where it all begins.

Learn About DTS

A YWAM staff member hugs a Discipleship Training School student in a tender moment while the rest of the students observe.

MISSIONS INSIDER

Read frontline missions stories, watch inspiring videos, and get helpful how to's about missions and discipleship.

6 min read

Joy Dawson~A Tribute

I suppose it is possible, but there can't be many YWAM missionaries around the world who haven't heard of Joy Dawson....

5 min read

I Don't Want To Do This Anymore

I’ve been re-reading a book that my husband Richard and I read when we planted the church ReaLity in Greenville, South...

4 min read

Is America Doomed?

Fred Markert visited us at YWAM Tyler this past weekend and brought a convicting message we want to share with all of...