His father's intention was to bring his sons to the priesthood. John turned out to be smarter and more quick-minded than his brothers, and by the age of twelve he already served as bishop's clerk. Furthermore, Gerard Cauvin managed to engraft John into the home of one of the best Noyon families, the Montmors where he "received a more thorough classical grounding, and acquired a polish of manners to which he must ever have remained a stranger had he grown up under his father's humble roof"3. The Montmors helped John get enrolled at the Collge de la Marche in Paris, a school where he took his first formal studies4.
Upon finishing the school in 1525, Calvin entered philosophy faculty of the Collge de Montaigu, the second of Paris' two universities in those days (Sorbonne was the first one)5. At the university, John focused on the study of philosophy and logic for BA and MA degrees. The discipline practiced by Calvin's tutors was literally iron while the schedule was exceptionally tough. Thus, a typical day began at four o'clock in the morning, and the first lecture lasted until six. However, Calvin was so intent on studying his majors that missed mealtime and even "long after others were locked in sleep, he was still awake; he would be pouring over the pages of schoolman or Father until far into the morning"6.
Despite impressive progress made by John in his philosophic endeavou...
Despite his personal reluctance, Calvin obeyed his father and spent three years studying law from brightest lawyers of those days, Pierre de L'Estoile. In 1529, John entered the University of Bourges to continue his legal education. It was there that Calvin became interested in the ideas of Andreas Alciati, an outstanding humanist lawyer. During his one and a half years in the University Calving learned Greek which was necessary for reading and studying the New Testament8.
During the period 1529 and 1533, Calving focused upon studying Greek, Hebrew and theology. It was here too that his prowess as an evangelist and teacher of theology was first recognized. God-fearing, harassed Protestants in the city clamored for his refreshing exposition of Scripture. Almost daily, men and women were "added to the church" as a result of the visits of Calvin to humble homes in the city. Before him stretched, he was convinced, a vast and profitable field for labor9.
By 1532, Calvin received his diploma in law and published his first work, which was a commentary on Seneca's De Clementia. The year of 1533 saw gradually increasing tensions at the Collge Royal between the humanist/reformist and conservative wings of faculty members. Rector of the University, Nicolas Cop, represented the humanist wing and on 1 November 1533 he delivered his inaugural address emphasizing the need for reformation and renovation of the Catholic Church. Entitled "Christian Philosophy", the address included a scholarly statement of the doctrines of grace and immediately produced huge effect in the city. After Cop's speech, Catholic priests left the university hall muttering "Grace, pardon of God, Holy Spirit; that's all this speech is filled with. Nothing about