Our Staff

Please call (515) 264-0400 to get a hold of any staff person.


    Joel Swanson came on staff with Youth for Christ in 2004. He and his wife Selena have six children, Bethany, Lydia, Gabriel, Helen, Evelyn and Lillian and many pets. Joel is the Campus Life Director and serves at the Hoover High School/Meredith Middle School Ministry Site, the East High Ministry Site and heads up the Crossover Basketball Ministry helping to develop character, confidence, responsibility and faith in young men. About ministering with Youth for Christ Joel says, “I have a passion for the local church and seeing it work to be salt and light to lost teens in Central Iowa.”When Joel is not working he enjoys going out for coffee with Selena, playing soccer with his children and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.


    After living in Lincoln, NE, almost his whole life, Jason chose to move to Des Moines, and attend Drake University. He gave his life to Christ during the spring of his freshman year of college. When Kristi was looking for volunteers for Campus Life Middle ministries, she asked Jason since he was a Secondary Education major, and that is how he got started in YFC.  In August of 2009 Jason officially made the decision to join the YFC staff.  As the director, Jason oversees the Thursday night high school ministry, Monday night middle school ministry, pancake outreach and the Friday night soccer outreach. Jason enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristi and their three sons, Caleb, Andrew, and Issac, playing sports, especially basketball, soccer and Frisbee along with cheering on the Huskers and Hawkeyes when he can watch some college sports.


    Josh South came on staff with Youth for Christ in 2015 to do Campus Life at Urbandale Middle and High School. He and his wife, Leah, have three kids: Mercy. Lilly, and Hudson.  Josh enjoys bonfires, listening to music, coaching wrestling, rock climbing, hanging out with his kids, and going on dates with Leah. He and Leah want to spread the Gospel, make disciples of Jesus, and glorify God.


    Cole is a part time City Life staff member focusing on the middle school group. Cole was a volunteer when we started our middle school club, 5 years ago, and worked with his wife, Dayna, to get that club going and growing. After Dayna stepped down from her staff role, Cole stepped in to fill the role. Cole works as a high School teacher in the Des Moines Public School system, after spending many years teaching at a local middle school. Cole and his wife, Dayna, have two kids: Westin and Ezri. Cole enjoys spending time with his family and being active outdoors.