Kiev Theological Academy

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The academy building in the early 1900s

The Kiev Theological Academy was the oldest higher educational institution of the Russian Orthodox Church, situated in Kiev, the Russian Empire. The Academy′s predecessor was the Kiev Mohyla Academy founded in the 17th century, in Kiev, then the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.


The Kiev Academy traces its history back to 1615, when Yelisey Pletenetsky founded a school at the Brotherhood Monastery in Kiev.[1] Several decades later, Peter Mohyla, from 1632 an Orthodox Metroplitan of Kiev under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, merged it with a newly established Lavra school into the Mohyla Collegium (Latin: Collegium Kijovense Mohileanum). The Collegium alumni include 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, when it became the Mohyla Academy.

The Mohyla Academy was closed in 1817 by the decree of Alexander I of Russia. In 1819, the Kiev Theological Academy, an ecclesiastical educational institution, was opened in the Brotherhood Monastery. In contrast to its predecessor, the Kiev Mohyla Academy, like all similar establishments in Russia at the time the Kiev Theological Academy admitted sons of clergy only. The Kiev 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 Brotherhood Monastery was destroyed in 1935).

Current successors[edit]

Since 1990s, there are three educational establishments in Ukraine that claim to be successors to the Kiev Mohyla Academy. The Ukrainian branch of the Russian Orthodox Church operates the Kiev Theological Academy in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate has the Kiev Orthodox Theological Academy in the Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev. The National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is a secular educational institution. in Ukraine.


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