Community Development School


The 2015 CDS will run on location in Togo. Apply now at YWAM Noepe.

How do impoverished communities move from despair to hope? It’s all about restoring broken relationships. The Community Development School provides an overview of the issues involved in helping communities (rural or urban) grow and be transformed towards God’s intentions. It focuses on a Biblical understanding of the root causes of poverty and underdevelopment and the strategies needed to enable people to find their own solutions. Christians have a vital role to play in facilitating sustainable development that is about changing communities by restoring the broken relationships between people, between ‘man’ and God, and between ‘man’ and creation, and in demonstrating an integral approach that addresses all areas of life; physical, social, and spiritual. The key is people – transformed hearts, minds, and lives; transformed communities, societies, and nations. The glory of God declared and demonstrated.

What is Poverty? 3-minute video

“The CDS gave me a proper picture of what biblical community development looks like. I learnt that character development is the most important step. Further I learnt how to plan, organise and run projects which help people to develop holistically.”

“CDS opened my spirit and helped me to see in big way how I can take gospel to the people and in which way I can help them to live it.”

“I took the CDS in order to understand how to serve the poor in a practical and wise way. It did not disappoint. I feel like I have a much clearer understanding of what Community Development looks like on the field and how to begin the process.”

“That course rocked my world!!!!”

“I’ve been in missions 17 years …. 11 of them now overseas. I don’t know that I would have been able to honestly see my role in missions from a Biblical Worldview without this course!”

School Leader

School Leader: Annette Jandrell

Nationality: British

Why CDS: A nurse since 1981, Annette worked for a year in a camp for Cambodian refugees in Thailand in the early ‘90s. This experience planted a vision for community development and preventive health care because she saw the same diseases recurring time after time and a community trapped by their situation.

After returning to the UK in ‘92, Annette qualified  and worked as a midwife. In 1997, she completed her DTS (England). Annette took the Principles of Community Health (PCH) and Introduction to Primary Health Care Schools (IPHC) in Kona during 1998-99.

This was followed by long-term ministry as part of YWAM Cambodia from 2000-2008. During this time, Annette worked with an integrated Community Health & Development Programme (and church support) in a remote, impoverished north-east province, with a team of local Cambodians who trained village development committees and village health volunteers and support community development projects such as schools, toilets, bridges, and various agricultural projects.
Annette’s vision for the CDS is to equip servant-leaders who will start a process of transformation wherever they go as they implement community-led development programmes built on strong foundations of Biblical principles.

Her vision statement is:

“To see poor communities transformed through holistic community development and released into the abundant life that God intends for them”

Annette is English, and looks forward to welcoming participants from around the world, introducing them to our beautiful countryside and giving you a warm English welcome- even if the autumnal weather is cool!

Course Overview

During the lecture phase, experienced practitioners will share foundational Biblical truths, principles, methods, insights, and models of community development which are essential for the transformation of communities. The international make-up of the community of YWAM Harpenden provides an environment where trainees and staff from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity of participating in a rich learning and networking experience.

Topics Included

The following topics are covered during the lecture phase of the CDS, with the overall emphasis focused on enabling communities to lead their own process of development and in partnering with communities. Please click on the links to see videos related to that topic for a small taste of what you will be learning through this school

Thanks and acknowledgment to Tearfund, Grassroots News and for the inclusion of their videos


Our training is participant-centred, building on the experience and skills of all, and the course content is designed to impact all four domains of learning….
Attitudes: shaped through journaling, personal reflection, discussion
Skills: developed through application, practical demonstration, coaching
Knowledge: increased through a variety of relevant available resources
Habits: formed through review, reinforcement, and application

Field Assignment

The CDS is a 6-month school, with the 10-12 weeks of field assignment being an integral and required part of the whole learning experience. You will build on what you learned during the lecture phase while serving in an overseas community, observing community development in action and being challenged in the many issues of the curriculum as you get to experience working with communities’ first-hand.


Completion of the Discipleship Training School and Field Assignment (IDS 701/702) or Crossroads Discipleship Training School (IDS 703/704).


Approximately twenty-two (22) to twenty-four (24) semester-equivalent credits will be earned upon successful completion of Foundations in Community Development (IDS 321/421) and Field Assignment (IDS 322/422). These credits may be applied to a U of N degree program or transferred to other colleges and universities.