OBU is hosting its next “Bison Connections” event as an online webinar on diversity. The webinar is free and will take place Thursday, Sept. 10, at 12 p.m. Speakers include author and human resources consultant Mona Sabah Earnest, who will speak on, “Diversity: Unconscious Bias and Blind Spots,” along with OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas, who will provide an update from Bison Hill.
The Bison Connections series typically takes place as an in-person luncheon gathering together members of the community, business leaders, alumni, friends of the university and more to enjoy networking and conversation over lunch while being inspired and informed by powerful speakers. This month’s event was moved online as a result of accomodations due to COVID-19. Past speakers include author, consultant and international speaker Jeremie Kubicek and Kimray CEO Thomas Hill III.
Mona Sabah Earnest was born and raised in the Middle East, spending time living in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates; went to school in Pakistan; and then ultimately moved to the United States. She speaks English, Spanish and Urdu fluently. She has worked in the human resources field and teaches leadership and cultural diversity. She worked for the Campbell Soup Company in their Sacramento, California, office, serving in human resources as their west coast diversity officer. She earned a master’s degree in human resources from the University of San Francisco. She is a professional speaker and a corporate trainer.
She was saved from Islam and became a follower of Jesus Christ at the age of 35. Her husband, Stephen Earnest, is the pastor of Mission Bible Church in Oklahoma City and they have three children.
She authored her testimony, “From Isa to Christ: A Muslim Woman’s Search for the Hand of God,” as well as a guide for Christian evangelism titled, “Reaching Muslims.” She recently published her third book, “Half in Islam, Whole in Jesus: A Woman's Worth.” Her personal mission statement is, “To be a light for the kingdom of God by sharing my testimony of faith in my Lord and savior Jesus Christ and by equipping the church to be an authentic witness to share the gospel.”
Dr. Heath A. Thomas assumed office as OBU’s 16th president in January 2020. He previously served as dean of OBU’s Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and associate vice president for church relations. In addition to his duties as dean and AVP, Thomas also served as interim dean of both the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Division of Language and Literature, the Floyd K. Clark Chair of Christian Leadership, and professor of Old Testament. He joined the OBU faculty in 2015 after serving as director of Ph.D. studies and associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
A 1998 OBU graduate, Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature with a religion minor. He then earned a Master of Arts in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Old Testament from the University of Gloucestershire (UK). He also earned a certificate for leadership in higher education from Baylor University in 2016.
Thomas has served on staff at churches in Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and in the United Kingdom. He preaches and teaches regularly, and has served as interim pastor for several Oklahoma churches during his time at OBU. He and his wife, Jill, reside in Shawnee with their four children: Harrison, Isabelle, Simon and Sophia.
Register for the Bison Connections webinar.