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 Gentle Answer

Today’s topic for making space for God Monday is based on the following Scripture: A gentle answer turns away wrath.  Why is this the topic for today? Because I am trying to prepare us for the Christmas season. As we celebrate the advent of Jesus we also must prepare to celebrate with the arrival of […]

Our Stories

Today we concluded our semester study of Ruth and Esther with a little Jingle & Java! It was a fun time of fellowship with each other and beautiful worship led by Julianna Fletcher and team. Be sure to like our Facebook page to see some pictures that will be posted soon of the festive fun […]

Time Management

Today, I am keenly interested in considering a subject that we all deal with — managing our time. For some of us, it seems as though time manages us; for others, we are glued to our calendars and our calendars are the driving force in managing our time. I would like to propose that managing […]

Transfer of Power

Today in our study of Esther, we looked at Esther 9 and 10. The title of the lesson was Reversal and in my teaching, I told a story about a time when I had to drive a boat trailer for a fishing trip that my husband and I went on.  Unfortunately, it was more difficult […]

Do I Belong?

Welcome to Making Space Mondays! Every Monday we look at a topic together that positions us for spiritual growth in Christ. This week I want to talk about belonging. We all long to belong. In researching the meaning of belonging, I came across some descriptions: A sense of fitting in or feeling like you are […]

Praise & Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Earlier this week I posted about A Grateful Heart and cultivating a lifestyle of praise and thanksgiving. I encourage you to read that post and the Thanksgiving “challenge” I suggested. While today is a special day of giving thanks, we must remember that it is not the only day to give thanks for […]

A Grateful Heart

So often we say the words: “Have a grateful heart.” And yet when it comes down to it, it takes discipline to have a grateful heart. Most of us don’t want to be ungrateful, however it’s somehow easier to think about what we don’t have or what we do want. I recognized this years ago […]

Active Waiting

Today in our study of Esther, we looked at Esther 7 & 8. The book of Esther is very much about waiting, isn’t it? How many of you are waiting for something right now?  I would imagine that everyone is raising their hands. We’re all waiting for something – for a job, a spouse, a friend […]

Imitation or Real?

Welcome to Making Space Monday (Making Space for God, that is!) Today I have something on my mind concerning being a fake or being real; the imitation/counterfeit or the real deal; the truth or the lie. What does Scripture teach us about the counterfeit? The online dictionary defines counterfeit as made in the exact imitation of […]