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

Trembling at His Voice

This week in our study, Living in God’s Presence, our lesson was entitled, Trembling at His Voice. What a cheery title, right? But in all seriousness, this week we talked about the beauty of God’s voice– His whisper. So many of us fear His voice and yet He is the tender Shepherd who leads us into our hopes, dreams […]

Relationship Reboot

Good morning and welcome to Making Space for God Mondays. Some of you may have stumbled on this blog and I am excited that you did. Every Monday I bring up ways we can draw closer to God. And more specifically how we can grow to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. We are […]

The Veil of His Presence

This week in our study, Living in God’s Presence, we talked about The Veil of His Presence and how it’s evident when we have spent time in God’s presence.  It is obvious when we have spent time with the Lord because we become like the one whom we behold.  Jesus gave us the model of […]

Speak Truth

Good morning and welcome to those of you who are just joining our Making Space Mondays (For God, that is). Recently I had to do something that was very difficult. I had to speak the truth in order to help clarify a situation. When I began to think about what I would say, I came […]

Replacing Fear

This week I invited Jayne Gurley to be a guest teacher at our weekly Teaching & Worship Experience in the study, Living in God’s Presence. Focusing on our lesson, “His Presence Destroys Our Enemies” Jayne did a beautiful job teaching us strategies for when we encounter fears.  You can read her strategies and accompanying [...]

Bucket List

I have always been intrigued by the expression ” bucket list”. I wonder who made up that phrase meaning those things that we hope to do in our lifetime? When I think of a bucket, I think of filling it up with water, or seashells since I live near the beach…. but things I want […]

His Enduring Mercy

This week in our study, Living in God’s Presence, our lesson was about His Enduring Mercy. So let’s talk a little about mercy. It is God’s perfect love that drives mercy. Let’s look at a few definitions that I  mentioned during my talk — Mercy, compassion, kindness and justice are the characteristics of God Mercy- […]

Love Hurts

I am writing this blog with a heavy heart. My Dad is dying and it is so very sad for all of us. He has been a remarkable Father in many ways and letting go is one of the most difficult things I have had to do in my lifetime. What I realized today, is […]

Show Us Your Glory

This week in our study, Living in God’s Presence, we talked all about God’s glory. We reviewed the story of Moses in Exodus 33 and the “crossroads” point of his life. We all face crossroads points in our life. If you’re not at one now, you will be. The most important crossroads we will encounter […]