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Charis Center is a social enterprise (Tax Identification Number 81-4856557) based on the basic beliefs of the Universal Life Church. As a Universal Life community, we welcome the principles of all religions and accept them in an inclusive manner, believing in a universal reconciliation between humanity and the divine. We are committed to providing life skills mentoring and high quality arts integrated education to school age students between the ages of 11 years and 18 years.

Charis Center offers a school with  a full slate of classes in core subjects as well as art, dance, drama, and music. Our instruction for students in grades 7th-12th is grounded in the philosophy of peace, diversity, justice and sustainability. We offer both computer mediated and face-to-face instruction in all subjects, including Spanish,

language arts,

Social studies/history/geography,



Physical education/health,


All our classes are are designed to be  integrated in the visual and performing arts. The Charis teachers are trained in the subject they teach, and are an innovative team who bring exceptio anal energy, creativity, and talent to every class they teach.

The Charis programs are designed to meet the needs of students who are in home school programs, have experienced difficulties navigating the academic constraints and social pressures of more traditional school settings, or need ana accelerated program. Our students bring varying abilities and gifts to the classroom. Charis Center provides each student with curricula and activities that are best suited to their individual learning profiles, interests, and academic goals.

It is written that where there is no vision, the people perish. Thus, it all began with a vision. A vision to provide a visual and performing arts school for the communities of Prince George’s County for students between the ages of 12-18.. With money in hand from my father’s estate, I began the process of making my vision a reality. I embarked upon completing the necessary requirements to open a social enterprise in the creative corridor of Old Town Bowie that would focus on the visual and performing arts with a mission to engage students in theatre, dance, music and visual arts; to showcase the many talents; and to provide training and education in the performing arts. Many people encouraged me, but also warned me that while this was an admirable vision, it was a formidable undertaking. My vision did not take into consideration an economy that would be reeling from trillions of dollars of national deficits and massive budget cuts on local, state and federal levels which would dramatically (no pun intended) impact the vitality of the Charis programs.

After serious discernment and restructuring, the vision of the Charis Center has embarked on a new beginning. Still committed to the visual and performing arts, the Charis Center provides a full academic learning environment to students in grades 7th-12th who have struggled in more traditional school settings. We integrate the arts into the courses we offer as well as provide separate instruction in drama, visual art, music, and dance. 

Charis Center offers a full time academic education to middle school and high school students. Our curricula is grounded in the philosophy of peace, diversity, justice and sustainability, with the visual and performing arts integrated into each class. Our students graduate with a certified diploma and are college or career ready.  


After completing a learning assessment and a learning styles profile, curricula is developed for each individual student.  A blended approach to teaching and learning is implemented, using internet based learning platforms, self directed lesson, and one-on-one instruction from highly competent facilitators. Students spend an equivalent number of hours in classes such as dance, drama, music, and art. These are not "add-ons" or "extras," rather components that are integrated into the core courses, as well as demanding academic courses that stand on their own.


CharIs Center, recognizing the importance of maintaining open hearts and minds, embraces any individual, no matter his or her spiritual background, who wishes to become a member of this family of faith. Charis Center is committed to  its role as a champion of religious freedom, social justice, and spiritual expression.

I hold firm to my vision because I have observed  class sizes, school violence, and unicivility, as well as more testing and less learning. Further, more than 95 percent of school-aged children are attending schools that have cut their arts and music funding since the recession according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In addition, there is an increasing acknowledgement that traditional schools can not teach to the individual student wholly. Consequently exposure to the arts and music programs are either reduced or completely eliminated, and students are getting Lost in the shuffle of over-testing and large class sizes.  Where is the logic, when research clearly shows that children who participate in fine arts for at least three to four hours a day, three days a week are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, and students learn best in small, personalized environments? 

I invite you to peruse our website pages and stop in visit us. I look forward to meeting you in person.

Peace,    emma

About the Director

Dr. Emma D. Hadley completed her BA and MA in interpersonal communication from SUNY Buffalo and her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in multicultural education. A college professor for 30 years, Dr. Hadley decided it was time to put her teaching experience to a different use.


In The


5 Characteristics Of A Good School

  • A good school will improve the community it is embedded within and serves.

  • A good school can adapt quickly to human needs and technology change.

  • A good school produces students that not only read and write, but choose to.

  • A good school sees itself.

  • A good school has diverse and compelling measures of success–measures that families and communities understand and value.

Did You Know?

Students who participate in arts learning experiences often improve their achievement in other realms of learning and life. In a well-documented national study using a federal database of over 25,000 middle and high school students, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles found students with high arts involvement performed better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Moreover, the high arts-involved students also watched fewer hours of TV, participated in more community service and reported less boredom in school

Musical Theatre

CGVS is offering MUSICAL THEATRE during the months of July & August. Performances are scheduled for mid-September. The musical choice will be determined once registration has been completed and will be based on ages and numbers. 

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