Parker, Katherine

Country: Nepal
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Serving At: Health Team of the United Mission to Nepal
Home Country: United States of America, North America

Katherine Parker is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, working in community development in Nepal. She serves as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Advisor with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). The ecumenical ministry of UMN has a vision of “fullness of life for all in a transformed Nepali society.” United Methodists have been part of UMN since it was founded in 1954. 

Katherine’s work in Nepal involves the development of frameworks for reflection in an action-reflection process of community transformation. The UMN work in community transformation is in five areas: education, health, peacebuilding, good governance and sustainable livelihoods. Katherine has found joy in: 

  • Adolescent empowerment, including sexual reproductive health and rights, mental health, and menstrual hygiene; 
  • Dignity for migrant workers; and 
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). 

Katherine was previously based in one of UMN’s field offices in western Nepal and now works in participatory research across the organization from a base in Kathmandu, where she is also a part of the UMN leadership team. 

Katherine is passionate about the process of linking values to action. She believes in telling the stories of our lives and exploring the stories of our faith. These enable us to articulate our shared values and engage in collective action across cultural and other divisive barriers. Together we can progress towards a world where every person can live to his or her fullest potential. 

In Nepal since 2013, Katherine formerly served in Cambodia with the Community Health and Agricultural Development program of the Methodist Mission there. She has been a missionary since 2007. Out of college in 2000, she became a mission intern for three years with the Asian Rural Institute in Japan and Practical Farmers of Iowa. 

Native to California, Katherine comes from a family with deep roots in United Methodism on the U.S. West Coast. From a young age, Katherine saw the church as a community of faith where we are spiritually fed so that we can serve in the world. She is the fifth generation in her family to serve through the United Methodist connection. 

Katherine attended Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Her Master of Science degree, also in biology, was from California State University in Sacramento. Her graduate thesis was on bacterial contamination of drinking water in rural Ghana. 

Katherine’s home church is Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, California. She has been involved in the life of the church in many capacities, including as part of the California-Nevada Annual Conference delegation to General Conference, the Conference Board of Church and Society, and a District Council on Ministries. She has been a part of United Methodist Women and an organizer of mission trips. In high school, she served as director of a church bell choir.