schools organized in Buddhist monasteries in India around the middle of the first millennium B.C.; schools associated with Christian monasteries. First founded in the sixth through eighth centuries, the Christian monastic schools spread throughout Byzantium and Western Europe. There were three basic types of monastic schools: the monastic seminary, which trained clergymen for pastoral service; the monastic dormitory school, which trained monks; and schools that taught reading and writing and church literature to boys not destined for service in the church and monasteries.
The education offered by the monastic schools was basically theological, but some elements of secular learning were included. During the domination of the Balkans by the Ottoman Empire (15th to 16th centuries), the monastic schools played an important role in preserving the culture of the South Slavs and the Greeks.
In ancient Rus’ most of the monastic schools prepared clergymen for service in the churches and monasteries. Schools for girls were founded at convents in the 12th century, but the convent schools never became widespread.
In the 17th century the Russian monastic schools began to teach Slavonic grammar, Greek and Latin, rhetoric, and versification, as well as theology. In the 18th century theological seminaries, religious schools for male and female students, and parish schools developed out of the monastic schools.
Monastic schools are still run by some contemporary Buddhist and Catholic monasteries.
V. G. FUROV