Dori Hjalmarson


Dori is a new Presbyterian missionary to Honduras.  Her mission is primarily one of education.  She is developing and expanding pastor training for the Presbyterian denomination and has been the leader in developing an active "Presbyterian Women's” organization.  The Presbyterian Churches in Honduras (which now total 12) are located in the Tegucigalpa area and that is where she is based.

The third generation of Presbyterian pastors called to mission service in her family, Dori is rooted in mission. She was born and raised in New Mexico, a border region, a multicultural and multilingual place with a longer history in Mexico, Spain and pre-Columbian civilizations than in the Anglo U.S. As Dori explains, she finds “energy and divine transformation in these border regions” and believes “humans are enriched by recognizing and engaging with our own internal and external borders.” Her commitment to mindfully inhabiting physical and spiritual borderlands enhances her ability to listen actively and reflectively to the people with whom she partners in ministry.

Christ’s commitment to social justice inspires Dori’s own sense of purpose: "The concept of God’s presence among and preference for the poor and oppressed, and not the rich and powerful, is a thread that runs through the entirety of scripture. I believe Jesus Christ’s purpose was to overturn the power structures of his time, and in following Jesus Christ, that is my purpose too. Working in Central America as a white English-speaking Christian, I will be working in a landscape that has been overtly shaped by paternalism and colonialism. I hope that I will not only avoid the old patterns and ruts that these forces have created, but that I will actively take part in forming new patterns and ways of being in relationship."

It is Dori’s prayer that the church will continue to critically examine its own role in the perpetuation of inequality, racism and oppression, particularly in the Americas. She prays that Christians, especially white English-speaking Christians, will commit to work that is anti-racist, anti-patriarchal and antithetical to the dominating mainstream culture of division and fear.

Prior to working with Presbyterian World Mission in Honduras, Dori served as a chaplain in a number of settings. Most recently, she provided spiritual care to hospice patients in their homes and in assisted living facilities. She also served hospital inpatients on a critical care burn unit, and on behavioral health and medical-surgical units. She is also a former member of First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Dori earned her master’s degree in divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She also trained as a journalist at the University of Missouri and has worked as a reporter and editor.