Colorado Christian University

News: CCU's Honors Morarie with Doctorate

CCU Bestows Honorary Doctorate on Missionary and Linguist Maxine Morarie

Colorado Christian University has bestowed an honorary doctorate on celebrated linguist and missionary Maxine Morarie. Morarie embodies the evangelical spirit on which the University was founded.

"Maxine Morarie has lived a life dedicated to spreading the message of Christ's love," said CCU President Donald W. Sweeting, Ph.D. "Morarie's passion and dedication to translating the Word of the Lord into the native tongue of the Ayoré has served as an inspiration to generations of linguists and missionaries. It is in light of this inspiring work that CCU has chosen to honor Morarie with a doctorate of letters."

In 1951 at the age of 18, Maxine Morarie and her husband, Howard, then 23, embarked on a mission to spread the gospel message of Christ's love to the nomadic, warlike Ayoré people. The newlyweds would spend the next 32 years in the jungles of eastern Bolivia and the Gran Chaco area of Paraguay working to bring sustainable economics, medicine, church planting, and linguistic preservation to the Ayoré people.

Morarie is an experienced translator and translation consultant. Her linguistic work includes the creation of a series of reading primers, cross-linguistic dictionaries, a description of the Ayoré grammar, and the first translation of the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament into Ayoré. Additionally, Morarie and her husband collected and transcribed Ayoré narratives.

Morarie has taught translation principles or assisted in other tribal linguistic projects in Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico. She continues to work on producing cultural material and linguistic work that includes the mentoring or advising of anthropologists, missionaries, students, and others who seek to learn more about Ayoré culture.

Following retirement, Morarie has remained active in jail ministries in the Adams, Boulder, and Denver county jails.