Recruiting a DY student

Thank you for considering becoming a placement church for a DY student. This is a page to resource you as you think about who that person might be, what impact they might have on the ministry they serve, and how investing in DY students is a strategic opportunity for your church.

If you’re still at an early stage of considering a taking a DY student on placement, and need an overview of how it works, please check out this section below.


Why have a DY Student?

Having a DY student on placement with you is a brilliant way to invest in the next generation of leaders for word and Spirit ministry. They serve alongside a staff member who has oversight of a particular area of ministry (for example, kids, youth, media, students, etc) and learn from hands-on experience what mission and ministry looks like in their context. They add a youth and dynamism to the team, bringing a generational voice into staff teams and conversations that can often be lacking. While the investment required from a placement church is high, the kingdom return on that investment is significant: each year 70-100 young people graduate from DY commissioned and equipped to be deeply formed and highly competent members of the church.


Is this a good way to create extra capacity on team?

Some DY students come to the course with real experience and maturity, and others are very new to ministry – and sometimes even faith. However a DY student is categorically not an employee, and should not have the expectations of an employed role placed upon them. DY students are often at the early stages of learning what a healthy church culture looks like. It is a responsibility upon all hub and placement churches to model volunteer cultures which empower God’s people for ministry, and treat them lovingly and kindly in a manner that is fitting for the redeemed people of God.

Within this remit, however, DY students can play a valuable part in the ministry of a church – serving events and areas of church life in the way that other volunteers would, but often with a consistency and regularity that might not be possible for those working full time.


How can do I find a DY Student?

Nearly every DY Student serves at a church that they’ve got a relational connection with. Therefore we suggest that the best way find a DY Student is to look at your current youth and/or student ministries. Typically people do DY in transition periods – when finishing full time educated (aged 18), or finishing university (aged 21/22). Take a look at our simple recruitment mapping tool, perhaps filling it in with your youth or student teams, to identify who might be reaching these transition points in the next 1-3 years.

Our quantitative research of current DY students suggest that most have heard of New Wine Discipleship Year 2 years before they start, but only make the commitment to do it 3-6 months before the year begins. Therefore, we recommend talking to those who will be looking for a 2026 September start around September 2024. This might seem like a long way ahead, but building a pipeline of potential students is the best way to find a placement student.

Once you’ve found a group of potential DY students, our research shows that most DY Students eventually decide to do DY in response to an invite from the senior church leader.


We’ve got no young people at our church – can we still have a DY Student?

Yes! There is no requirement for a DY Student to come through your church youth group or student ministry, however finding people can be a lot harder for churches without these. We’d recommend reaching out to other New Wine churches in your area, and asking if they might have any young people who are interested in DY, but that they don’t have capacity to offer placements to.


How does DY work, and what’s the difference between placement churches and hub churches?

New Wine Discipleship Year (NWDY, or just DY) is made up of three component parts:

  1. Local training delivered at a hub church (1 day a week teaching in theology and the Christian life)
  2. Local experience delivered through a placement church (generally 2 days per week serving)
  3. National programme delivered by New Wine (two residentials, one in the UK, one in Spain, plus serving at a national conference)

For example, a DY Student (lets call her Emily), has come to faith through a youth group at your church and is interested in serving at your church for the year. She might serve on the worship team on a Sunday morning, have time to worship (without a rota role!) Sunday evening, head into town for training on a Monday, and then join your staff team on a Wednesday to serve on the media team. On Tuesday and Thursday she might work in a local cafe to provide an income for herself.

In this model her serving would be at a placement church (yours!), her training would come through the hub church in town.


What is the cost?

Each student pays £1500 in course fees – this covers all the local training, and the national programme. We frequently hear that this represents significant value for money in comparison with other similar gap years.

The placement church pays £500 to the local hub. This is to help cover the cost of the staffing that DY requires, along with speakers/teachers, and resources.

While it is not mandatory, most placement churches offer some form of support with accommodation – either through housing with a local family, or in a church-owned property. For many students, this is the only way that a year is financially viable.


I’m in! What do I do next?

Drop us an email on and we’d love to connect you with your local hub.