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Genevan Academy

This was founded in 1559 under the influence of John Calvin,* who believed that one of the great needs of the Reformed church was an educational institution that would prepare not only ministers to preach the Gospel, but men who could take their place as Christians in every walk of life. Influenced by the example of Martin Bucer and John Sturm in Strasbourg, he desired to extend the public school established in 1537 to cover the whole course of education. This he succeeded in doing in 1559, at which time Theodore Beza* became the first rector, along with three other professors. Joint control over the institution was exercised by ecclesiastical and civil authorities, although the basic law emanated from the mind of Calvin. One important characteristic of the academy was the emphasis upon the use of French as well as Latin. Physical science and mathematics also became part of the standard curriculum. In the faculty of theology, biblical studies were fundamental although much attention was also paid to preaching. From the academy in the years following its foundation many leaders of the Reformation in other countries such as France, Hungary, Holland, England, and Scotland went out to carry on the Calvinistic tradition.

See C. Borgeaud, Histoire de l'Université de Genève, (1900), I; W.S. Reid, “Calvin and the Founding of the Academy of Geneva,” Westminster Theological Journal, XVIII (1955), pp. 1ff.