About DLA

Desperation Leadership Academy (DLA for short) is a highly focused leadership training school embedded in the context of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our 11-month program challenges students to grow deep spiritual roots while at the same time learning practical skills and valuable leadership lessons that equip them for the road ahead. Our four uniquely designed schools are taught by an exceptional group of ministry and marketplace leaders (many of whom have advanced degrees and decades of experience). The DLA Staff and Faculty strive to ensure that each and every student has a rich and rewarding experience that fosters a life-long mindset of learning and spiritual growth (we also have a ton of fun along the way).

What makes the Desperation Leadership Academy Unique?

—A focus on corporate and individual prolonged times of worship, prayer, prophetic ministry and the broader spiritual disciplines
—Four uniquely designed schools that appeal to a wide range of young adults
—Highly experienced and qualified staff/faculty (over 20 advanced degrees represented and multi-decades of combined ministry and marketplace experience). All our educators are active practitioners in the areas they teach.
—Our academy is situated at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and we take full advantage of this by organizing outdoor activities for our students.
—DLA is embedded in the context of a local church. This enables students to make quick and very clear connections between classroom learning and real life application.
—At the end of the DLA year, students get the exciting learning experience of helping to pull off a national conference for thousands of young people.
—DLA students are treated much like New Life Church staff members and receive access to special trainings, conferences, celebrations and staff meetings.
—We pause our normal weekly schedule every 4-6 weeks to offer intensives. Intensives are designed to promote expedited and experiential learning. Here are a some of the intensives that we’re planning to offer during the 2017-2018 school year: Marketplace Week (resume building, interviewing and the basics of business), Freedom Week (inner healing, addictions and soul/self care), Worldview Week (in partnership with Summit Ministries), Adventure Week (camping, hiking, rafting and wilderness survival), Leadership Week (assessment of spiritual gifts, personality, passions, abilities and experience), Community Week (serving the least, last and lost in our local community), Missions Week (a trip to ministry in a foreign country), Event Force Week (a week of tuition fundraising and corporate culture experience), Theology Week (a week of in-depth learning from some of brightest theological minds) and Media Week (photography, graphic design, basic of audio, video editing and more).

Our Top 5 Goals for 1st Year DLA Students

#1. A growing hunger to pursue and experience a deep relationship with God (individual and within the context of a local church)
#2. A more accurate understanding of how God has uniquely created them to serve others, strengthen his church and reach those who are spiritually lost
#3. A greater grasp of vital theological concepts that root them in the historic Christian faith and keep them tethered to a Biblical framework throughout the course of their lives
#4. A firsthand highly practical experience in one our four schools of emphasis that provides students with tools and skills they can utilize immediately upon graduation
#5. An increasing love for and working knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s activity in their lives and the life of the church as a whole

How does DLA aim to help students grow spiritually and prepare for the future?

—Deep relational connection with mentors, peers and mentees
—Regular times of worship, prayer, fasting and the broader spiritual disciplines
—Theological reading, classes and conferences
—Classroom and conversational interactions with highly experienced and educated leaders
—A wide spectrum of hands-on ministry opportunities
—Local and cross-cultural outreach experiences
—Instruction/Practicum within specific areas of interest
—Prayerful assistance in formulating a plan for their next steps post DLA
—When possible, help with finding a job or paid internship upon graduation

Schools for 2017-2018

School of Worship
School of Ministry
School of Marketplace
School of Missions and Justice

School Descriptions

School of Worship (SOW)—This school is ideal for those who have a deep passion for leading fellow believers in worship. Those who choose this school likely see themselves becoming a primary worship leader or a staff member in the worship department of a local church. SOW students will participate in some or all of following classes and activities: Songwriting, Music Theory, Introduction to Psalms, Music Technology, Biblical Foundations of Worship, Band Clinical, Systematic Theology, Vocal/Instrument Lessons and regular opportunities to lead peers in worship.

School of Ministry (SOM)—This school is ideal for those who sense a clear calling to ministry leadership in a local church. Those who express interest in this school typically see themselves serving in ministries focused on children, youth or young adults. SOM students will participate in some or all of following classes and activities: Youth Ministry Practicum, Children/Family Ministry Practicum, Basics of Youth Ministry, Basics of Pastoral Ministry, Biblical Hermeneutics and Interpretation, Preaching/Teaching, Basic Counseling, Systematic Theology and Emotionally Healthy Leadership.

School of Marketplace (SOMP)—This school is perfect for those who have a business mind and an entrepreneurial drive. Those who find interest in SOMP want to learn basic business skills and share Jesus with others in the marketplace. SOMP students will participate in some or all of following classes and activities: Shadowing of Local Christian Business Leaders, Basics of Accounting, Introduction to Marketing, Resume Building, How to Interview, Pioneering a Non-Profit and Basics of Human Resources.

School of Missions and Justice (SOMJ)—This school is a great fit for someone who feels deeply burdened by those who are spiritually lost, physically suffering or facing oppression of any kind (human trafficking, slavery, etc...). SOMJ students will participate in some or all of following classes and activities: Biblical Foundations of Missions/Justice, Missional Ecclesiology, Basics of Cross-Cultural Missions, Church Planting, Unreached/Unengaged People Groups, Worldview, History of Missions, Systematic Theology, Evangelism, World Religions, Local Outreach through the Local Church, Outreach Sunday School and Practicum Experience in the Dream Centers of Colorado Springs.

What age do you need to be to apply for DLA?

College Age: 18-25 years old. Unmarried. High school diploma or equivalent required.


DLA is an 11-month academy that goes from August 25, 2017 - June 30, 2018. There are multiple breaks in the academy that allows students to go home.

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