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

The Lethal Poison of Rejection

As I sit at my computer reaching out to our community of making space for God folks, I am all too aware that some of you are facing serious rejection; that as you read these words they may be the lifeline that you need to move from off the cliff of rejection and onto the […]

Redemption at the Gate

Today was our last week looking at Ruth in our study of Ruth and Esther. Here is a quick summary of what the story of Ruth has shown us on many levels: God paves the way for the king that His people need. Not just about God’s faithfulness (Hesed) to Naomi and Ruth. God’s covenant […]

Joy Stealer

Good morning, Making Space for God friends! Over the weekend I was with a group of friends and our conversation centered around so many sorrowful issues we have been facing in our country. Last week the Las Vegas shooting was the key topic; lives lost, families suffering. I listened to conversations about teenagers who had […]

Staying in Your Lane

Today we continued our study of Ruth & Esther by looking at Ruth 3.  Even if you aren’t joining us in person or via streaming, I encourage you to read through Ruth with us, as I will continue to share notes from my teachings here on the Thursday blogs. As you may know, in our lessons […]

Changing Seasons

    Friends, one of the most difficult things to discern is the change of seasons in our lives. I led a retreat last weekend on finding our sacred space and discovered that there is an epidemic happening called busyness. It’s good to be productive and God wants us to use our gifts for His […]

Meeting in the Barley Field

Good afternoon! Today we continued our study of Ruth & Esther by looking at Ruth 2 As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be sharing my notes from my weekly teachings here on the blog so be sure to check weekly to catch up on those. You can enter your email on the top right of my […]

Slow to Anger

I recall a few years ago getting a call from a friend who said they needed help with their anger; that they simply could not help being angry all the time and that it was becoming obvious that something was brewing under the surface of their heart. The problem was they did not know what […]

Thy Will Be Done

Today in our continuation of the study of Ruth & Esther, we looked at “Returning to Bethlehem.” In the book of Ruth, we see how Moab was a picture of emptiness. Moabites were created from an incestuous relationship, driven from their original land, and yet, in the end, becoming the place of God’s fullness; Moab was […]

What’s On Your Mind?

One of my favorite Scriptures is: How a man thinks so He is. (Proverbs 23:7) So what’s on your mind? Because according to this Scripture, our thoughts impact the way that we live. Pondering this I decided to take inventory on my thoughts today. I became acutely aware that my God thoughts (thoughts in agreement […]