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, grandmother, great-grandmother and wife.  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


This morning, I have been thinking about my son who has a passion for photography. He started with a simple desire to take pictures – but after 6 months, I noticed he had 1,000 ‘likes’ on one of his photos on Instagram . I say this not just as a proud Mom but to encourage […]

Rest for Our Souls

This week, we continued our study of Isaiah with the lesson, “Rest for Our Souls.” As you know, I like to share notes from my weekly teaching here on the blog. So, let’s start by looking at the meditation verse for this lesson — In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust […]

Holy Nudges

Good morning Making Space for God friends! This morning I was thinking about my friend whose mother suddenly died. And then my thoughts went to my own parents who quickly had a change in their health (seemed like overnight).  Sometimes when we least expect it, things happen. But what really caught my attention is that […]

Turning Darkness into Light

Today I want to share with you an entry from my daily devotional, Drawing Near to God. Did you know that you can keep up with the devotional on our website or via our mobile app? I especially love that we offer this through our app because it’s a great way to do the devotional […]

The Contented Life

Today I was meditating on the Apostle Paul’s words where he described his life– once a rich, powerful man reduced to being beaten, ship wrecked, and imprisoned for his faith in Jesus Christ. Yet in the midst of his suffering he wrote the following: I know what it is to be in need, and I know […]

Be Still

Good morning, Making Space for God community! This week I had the privilege of teaching at a Conference with women from all over the US who are part of an organization called Daughters of the King. Their theme was, “Be Still.” They were delightful and eager to connect with our theme in practical ways. My […]


Good morning Making Space for God friends! This last weekend I realized that I am sick and tired of my phone. And I mean it. I am on a few group text threads and I lost track of the conversation. By the time I picked up the whole conversation had shifted and I was left […]

The Majesty of God

Good morning, Making Space for God friends! For those of you that follow my blog each week, you know that on Thursdays I post the notes from my teaching so that those who are participating in the study can keep up and those that are unable to participate can have a sneak peek at what we’re […]

The Regret Stealer

This morning I want to address a topic that is close to my heart. Something I have noticed is rampant among Christians is living with regret. We all have things that we wish we hadn’t done or said, but it seems that there is a disconnect with how to find freedom from the chains of […]