Joanne Ellison

Founder & Director

Founder of national nonprofit Drawing Near to God based in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Joanne Ellison teaches women to make space for God so that God’s presence keeps them from being overwhelmed with life.

Driven by a vision to motivate women to pursue a deeper relationship with God, Ellison founded Drawing Near to God in 2000 and has since reached tens of thousands of women through Christian radio, blogging, social media, her weekly Bible study, livestreaming, speaking, books, CDs and DVDs. She is the author of over 20 Bible study guides, the popular 365-day Bible devotional, Drawing Near To God, Sitting at His Feet devotional and Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.

She is a mother of three, grandmother of 11 and has been married for 45 years to Dr. Blount Ellison. Making her home in the Charleston area for most of her life, Ellison is a graduate of the College of Charleston and an active member of Saint Andrew’s Church, Mount Pleasant, SC.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and traveling with her husband.

Ellison is an engaging speaker, writer and Bible teacher. Her speaking style includes both vulnerability and humor and is rooted in her passion for the Bible. She often incorporates stories about her children, grandchildren and travels into her teachings – cycling through Portugal and Copenhagen as well as hiking mountains all over the States have provided many challenges and adventures!

Teaching & Worship Experience
Speaking Engagements

Joanne’s Blog

A Dose of God Confidence

Good morning, Making Space for God friends! I love Mondays when we get together to discuss ways to allow the Holy Spirit to get into our business. Don’t sign off yet – it really isn’t that anxiety producing. Jesus came and left us His promise to send the Holy Spirit to lead us, come alongside […]


Today at a Meet & Greet event we hosted here in Charleston, I talked about “What’s in Your Backpack?” This was just a teaser for what we’re going to unpack this semester as we study the amazing women of Ruth & Esther. And if you missed it, no worries! You can still join us this fall […]

Millennials – Our Hope for the Future

Today my subject on Making Space for God Monday is our need to make space in our lives to parent God’s way. I recently watched a video on millennials three times. It was so informative and well done that it has given me a grasp on our youth and what makes them tick. It has […]

Are You at Peace?

Today I want to share with you an older blog post about peace that I think is very timely right now. It also ties in with a short talk I’ll be giving next week at a Meet & Greet at Ashley River Baptist Church on What’s in Your Backpack.  If you are in the Charleston area, I […]

Whom Shall I Fear?

Today’s subject for Making Space for God Monday is fear. There is no one on the planet who has not experienced fear. The definition of fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.  Fear is something that we all have in common. It is unpleasant, often […]

Letting Go of the Old

Last week, I wrote about Taking a Risk. When God is leading is us to take a step out in faith, it can be scary. But when we follow God’s leading, we get to join Him in the new thing that He is doing in our lives. Sometimes embracing that new thing can mean letting […]

Taking Off Mask Friendships

Making Space for God friends, how many of you are struggling with a relationship? I suspect each of us has an extra grace required relationship that we are praying about.  But I have another question to ask:  In what ways have you invested in this relationship?” Over the years I have learned that relationships require […]

God’s Leading

In Monday’s Making Space for God blog post, I talked about Taking a Risk and specifically the question, “How do you know when God is asking you to step out in faith and take a risk?” God gives us signposts to help us discern His will. But once we’re ready to take that next step, it […]

Taking a Risk

Good morning,  Making Space for God friends! I have been thinking about something for the last few days. What if I choose to take a risk and then I fail miserably? I am embarking on a new season in the life of Drawing Near Ministry and we are in a time of great transition. At […]