Man delivers pizzas to pay for wife's master's degree

by Roger Alford/ Kentucky Today, posted Monday, July 30, 2018 (one year ago)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Jonathan Coaty has put out a lot of dough for his wife's master's degree in Christian education.

Pizza dough, that is.

Jonathan Coaty talks with his wife Jesica and daughter Catherine from the car he uses to deliver pizza -- a second job to help pay for his wife's master's degree.
Photo by Roger Alford/Kentucky Today
Coaty took a second job delivering pizzas to cover the cost of tuition for his appreciative wife Jesica, a first-grade teacher at Beth Haven Christian School in Louisville. She is seeking her degree from nearby Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"My husband is more passionate about Christian education than most Christian educators," Jesica said, fighting back tears as she talked about his sacrifice. "He has invested long hours in my degree. By the time I finish in December, he will have delivered nearly 7,000 pizzas."

At the Highview Baptist Church Valley Station campus in Louisville, where the Coatys are members, Jonathan, 32, is seen as a living example of Ephesians 5:25, which calls for husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.

"Seeing Jesica in my class every day knowing that her husband is delivering pizza every night so she can be there, I see a beautiful picture of what that verse is all about," said Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention who teaches occasional leadership courses at the seminary in Louisville. "Marriage is all about teamwork, and Jonathan and Jesica model that for sure. It's a beautiful thing."

When Jesica, 32, a teacher for 12 years, considered pursing her master's degree, the question of how to pay for it weighed heavy. They would need about $9,000 a year for tuition. Jonathan's pizza deliveries easily covered that.

"He works about 60 hours a week in his regular job and another 20 hours a week delivering pizzas," pastor Mark Bishop said. "It's shows his love for Jesica and his love for the Lord."

"We knew that, professionally, I needed to get my master's degree," Jesica said. "But my husband wanted to do it without going in debt. Delivering pizza was his solution."

Jonathan, whose regular full-time job is as a delivery driver for the Canteen vending company in Louisville, said he doesn't consider it a burden to work long hours to support his wife and 2-year-old daughter Catherine.

"Every time I get a $5 tip, I realize that's part of the cost of a textbook, that's helping to educate her so that she's better prepared to teach children about Jesus," Jonathan said.

Jesica, her voice choking with emotion, said she wants Jonathan to understand the depth of her appreciation for his sacrifice.

"There aren't words to express what this means to me," she said.

Roger Alford is editor of Kentucky Today (, a news resource of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
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