Kiev Theological Academy

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The academy building in the early 1900s

The Kievan Theological Academy and Seminary is the oldest college of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is situated in Kiev and traces its history back to 1615, when Yelisey Pletenetsky founded a "brotherhood school" at the Theophany Monastery.

Several decades later, Peter Mohyla merged it with a newly established lavra school into the Mohyla Collegium (Latin: Collegium Kijovense Mohileanum). The Collegium alumni included Innokentiy Gizel, Lazar Baranovych, Dmitry Tuptalo, Stephen Yavorsky, Feofan Prokopovich and many other state activists and Orthodox clerics who helped reform the Russian Orthodox Church under the auspices of Patriarch Nikon and Peter the Great. In 1658 under the terms of the Treaty of Hadiach the Collegium obtained the status of an Academy, similar to Cracow Academy. This was recognized in 1694 by the Russian tsar Ivan V, then reaffirmed by Peter I in 1701.

After the Kiev Mohyla Academy was closed in 1817 by the decree of Alexander I of Russia, in 1819 Kiev Theological Academy, was reopened, as a clerical institution. In contrast to its predecessor, the Kiev Mohyla Academy, admissions for the Kiev Theological Academy became open only to children of the existing clergy.

The Kievan Theological Academy continued under this name until its closure by the Soviets in 1919. Some unofficial courses were held even at a later period. The academy was revived in 1992 and is based on the grounds of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate operates its own theological academy on the grounds of the Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev. It also claims succession to the Kiev Mohyla Academy, as does the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a strictly lay institution.

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