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

Superwoman Syndrome

A few years ago, I wrote an op-ed titled the Superwoman syndrome. The point of the article was to help women who are overwhelmed with life make space for God in their lives. In a recent blog post on margins, I wrote the following on the same subject: Together we are on an amazing journey […]

God’s Purpose Prevails

From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. (Isaiah 46:1) Good morning, Making Space for God Community! Do you believe that God will do what He said […]

Driving in the Fast Lane

Years ago, when I lived in Germany, I remember my frightening first trip on the Autobahn; it seemed like everyone was driving at a speed above 80 MPH. I got in my very slow, no pick-up car, and huddled on the side of the road, praying for my life. Everyone else seemed calm and confident. Why? […]

Comforting God’s People

Happy Thursday, friends! As you know, this semester, we have been studying the book of Isaiah together – what an amazing time we’ve had digging through this amazing book! The book of Isaiah is literally packed with stories, history, characters, etc…the list goes on. So let’s start with a bit of a review of what [...]

Why Me?

Do you ever think that God is out to get you, that He is just waiting for you to mess up? Sometimes, I meet Christians who view their lives through the “Why me?” lens. The question I have is this: ” Why not you? ” I say this because life has it’s share of suffering […]

Effective Prayer

‘The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power.’ – James 5:16 (Amp.) Hello, Making Space for God community! This week, our study of Isaiah continued with a look at the topic of effective prayer. [...]

The Blame Game

Happy Monday! The other day I witnessed a couple in a heated argument. I was not eavesdropping; it was just impossible not to overhear their conversation. They were blaming each other for something that their child did. I went home and smugly thought to myself,  ‘So glad that I am not prone to blaming my […]

God’s Strength to Deliver

This week, we continued our study of Isaiah with the lesson, “God’s Strength to Deliver.” 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 — ‘Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say […]


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 […]