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John & Kristen Coatney

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Who We Are

Dr. John Coatney is a former Army veterinarian from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Kristen is a hairstylist from Stillwater, Oklahoma.  They have 4 young boys.  

John participated in Christian Veterinary Fellowship (CVF) and Real Life Real Impact (RLRI) while he was a student at Ohio State University.  During a visit to Haiti, John and Kristen met a CVM long-term fieldworker and shared that they were considering long-term, cross-cultural ministry. 

After completing his graduate studies, John received a job offer from Iowa State University that involved research in Eastern Ethiopia which allowed John and Kristen to build networks and learn more about Ethiopia.  Through these relationships, the Dean of Mekelle University's veterinary college in Ethiopia encouraged John to pursue a PhD and then use his gifts and education to teach and serve in Ethiopia.  

Our Work

John and Kristen are currently in Iowa where John has a postdoctoral research position at Iowa State University and Kristen is teaching their 4 young boys but they still hold the call to Ethiopia in their hearts.

As the conflict in Ethiopia starts down the path towards peace and John completes his current commitment to Iowa State, the plan remains to return to Ethiopia where John will be mentoring veterinary graduate students in Tropical Animal Diseases and Food Safety and Zoonoses, as well as building up the research program, focused on infectious/zoonotic diseases, ultimately at the veterinary school at Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia, but most likely in other Ethiopian institutions until they are able to return to Mekelle. He will also seek to collaborate with faculty at a local seminary to grow their curricula in the areas of biblical languages, exegesis, and patristics. In addition to raising and home-schooling their four boys full-time, Kristen hopes to use her hairstyling skills to minister to local Westerners and potentially train Ethiopians in Western hairstyling.

Our Partner

The Coatney's are partnered with Mekelle University’s College of Veterinary Sciences, where John will be teaching graduate students and consult/collaborate in research.