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

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 […]

Our Shepherd and King

Good afternoon! For those of you who keep up with my blog weekly, you know that on Thursdays I share notes from my Thursday morning teachings. I do this so that those of you who cannot join us in person can get a feel for what we are studying and those of you who are […]

Shedding Old Clothes

Last week I was discussing the passage in Colossians 3 with someone and it gave me the opportunity to consider it more in depth. Put to death therefore whatever is earthly in you; sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry….Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate [...]

Crisis & Response

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog on how Crisis is Revealing. Today I taught on crisis and how we must respond as Christians, looking at Esther 3 & 4. I always share notes from my teaching on the blog on Thursdays. Let’s start by looking at spiritual warfare: Our battle is not against […]

True Meaning of Forgiveness

Good morning making space for God friends! As I sit here at my computer my heart is thinking about each of you who are dealing with unforgiveness. Yes, you have tried to forgive. You have even been generous to the person to whom you are offering forgiveness, however the sting in your heart is still […]

Puzzle Pieces

Today in our study of Esther we looked at Esther 1 & 2. Remember that even if you can’t join us live, you can sign up to follow along via streaming to hear the full teaching. I always share some of the notes from my teaching on my blog so today I want to share […]