About 2017-09-14T09:01:09+00:00

Our Mission

The Saint Joseph Educational Center strives to create a culture of lifelong faith formation in 24 Des Moines regional parishes.  We draw from the strength of the Spirit to guide us as we accompany Catholics on their path to holiness.

Our Values

Relationships

Relationships

We believe in developing positive and meaningful relationships with everyone we serve.

Faith

Faith

We are guided by the Holy Spirit and teachings of the Catholic Church.

Lifelong Discipleship

Lifelong Discipleship

We never stop growing in our faith and sharing it with others.

Passion

Passion

We are energized by forming disciples and raising up lay leadership.

Wisdom

Wisdom

We believe that both theological knowledge and a pastoral approach are essential to sound faith formation.

Professionalism

Professionalism

We hold ourselves to a high standard of excellence and lead by example.

Our Staff


Matthew Halbach, PhD

Director

Matthew Halbach, PhD

Dr. Halbach completed his B.A. in economics at the University of Iowa in 2000, his M.A. in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2004, and his Ph.D. in Catechetics and Religious Education at Catholic University of America in 2014.  He and his wife, Stacy, have 4 children: Michael, Benjamin, Joseph and Grace.  Dr. Halbach grew up in Ankeny where he now resides and attends Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart parish.

Lisa Risvold

Coordinator of Communications, Operations, & Events

Lisa Risvold

Lisa completed her B.A. in Elementary Education with minors in Spanish and business at Loras College in 2007.  Prior to coming to the SJEC, Lisa taught for nine years in Catholic schools.  Lisa grew up on the east side of Des Moines attending St. Joseph Parish.  She and her husband, Travis, now live in Madrid and attend Assumption parish in Granger.  They are expecting their first child in November 2017.

Our Board

Paulette Chapman, Director of Faith Formation at Sts. John & Paul, Altoona

Dan Ryan, President of Dowling Catholic High School, West Des Moines

Fr. Tim Fitzgerald, Pastor at Sts. John & Paul, Altoona

Kelly Howard, Director of Faith Formation at St John’s, Adel

Fr. Mark Neal, Pastor at St Theresa, Des Moines

Fr. Steve Orr, Pastor at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, Ankeny

Cindy Shaw, Co-director of the Emmaus House, Des Moines