The life's work of Dr. M. Catherine Peeke greatly symbolizes the mission of the Peeke School of Christian Mission. A 1947 graduate of King University, she continued her studies at Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University). In 1949, Dr. Peeke joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics and worked in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador as a linguist and translator. She then received her Ph.D. in Anthropological Linguistics in 1968 from Indiana University.
She subsequently began two years of language study and service to the Waorani people in Ecuador. For fourteen years Dr. Peeke worked closely with Ms. Rosi Jung from Germany and with several Waorani to complete the translation of the New Testament in the native language.
Since the dedication of the Waorani New Testament in 1992, Dr. Peeke has retired and yet has returned to Ecuador several times as a volunteer. She and Ms. Jung traveled to jungle villages to teach the Waorani in the use of the translated Scriptures. She is currently working on a bilingual dictionary in Waorani and Spanish. Peeke is a member of First Presbyterian Church, Weaverville, North Carolina.