- School founded by the city of Geneva in 1559 at the urging of the city's religious leader, John Calvin, who had been a young humanist before his conversion to Protestantism and remained convinced that a sound humanistic education was the essential foundation for true theology. Modelled on the earlier Protestant school at Strasbourg directed by Johannes Sturm, the Academy had two sections. The larger part, the "private school, was a secondary academy devoted to the teaching of Latin and Greek language and literature and the elements of logic as preparation for university study. This branch primarily aimed to meet the needs of sons of local citizens, though it also attracted students from other places.The second section was the "public school," initially organized as a seminary for the training of Protestant clergy but eventually enriched with faculties of medicine and law, developments that Calvin anticipated but did not live to see. Although this section conferred no formal academic degrees, it functioned as a high-level university and soon attracted Protestant students from all over Europe, thus extending the school's influence (and Calvinist religion) throughout northern Europe, especially to France, where a certificate of attendance at Geneva became the best qualification for appointment as a pastor in the growing number of clandestine Protestant churches. Calvin was able to recruit a brilliant faculty of young scholars, most of them humanists exiled from France, and headed by Theodore Beza, who became Calvin's successor as leader of the Genevan church.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.
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