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

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 […]

Desires of Your Heart

In my Monday “Making Space for God” blog, I talked about Purpose and Direction. So many women share with me that the question they are most often asking is “What is my destiny?” The post below is an entry from my devotional, Sitting at His Feet. As you may know, this devotional is a compilation of […]

Purpose and Direction

Dear friends, every week we look at ways to make space for God and this week I want to discuss purpose and direction. If you are a living-breathing-walking-on-earth person you have a destiny ordained by God. You are significant because you are His creation, His beloved and a daughter or son of the King. If […]

Video Blog – Faith Risk

Are you sensing that God is calling you out to take a risk, in faith? It can be a scary feeling, but it’s a good place to be. Let’s see what the Word of God says in this video blog. Watch below or at this link.               To receive […]

Ultimate Freedom

Happy 4th of July week! For those of us who live in the United States, we have a unique home founded and based on our freedom. When I googled: ” United States Freedom” what came up was the following: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press, free market. The foundation of our country […]

A Thankful Heart Transforms

As many of you who read my blog know, as the New Year began, I sensed the Lord saying that this was the year of transformation. Today I want to talk to you about one aspect of transformation – thankfulness. This can be hard – to give thanks in all circumstances. But it does bring […]