During the Byzantine period religious seminaries were founded by the Armenian-Gregorian and Georgian churches. Catholic religious educational institutions differed little from Orthodox religious schools and had a strictly expressed religious and professional tendency.
The first religious educational institutions were established in connection with the temples of ancient Egypt and ancient Babylonia in the second millennium B.C. to train priests. In the middle of the first millennium B.C. in India and in the slave-owning states of Central and Middle Asia, Buddhist monasteries were founded, many of which became educational institutions. In addition to the monastery schools of Buddhism and its variant, Lamaism, India had Brahman caste schools, whose graduates frequently became professional priests.
With the organization of universities (11th and 12th centuries), theological faculties began to be established. At the beginning of the 15th century, 18 of the 46 universities in Western Europe had theological faculties. The Catholic Church created a network of theological universities in Bologna, Oxford, Cologne, Louvain, and other cities. The University of Paris (the Sorbonne, founded in 1253) was considered the highest theological center. Later, a number of other types of religious educational institutions were formed, including theological universities and academies, theological faculties at secular universities, seminaries, colleges, and collegiums.
The township of Struga was divided into three districts of 300 houses each. It had a good many Greek and Bulgar inhabitants. There were 40 shops and business premises, 5 inns, a poor-house, a seminary, and other amenities. ? ten-day trade-fair took place every year outside the town, and they used to erect a number of temporary booths.
A seminary, The Theological School of Halki is located at the top of a hill called the Hill of Hope on the island of Halki. On the grounds of the School is the monastery of the Holy Trinity which was founded during the Byzantine period, though the exact date of its establishment is unknown. The theological facilities include the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, sports and recreational institutions, dormitories, an infirmary, a hospice, offices, and the school's library with its historic collection of books, journals, and manuscripts. The students at Halki included not only a large number of native born Greeks, but Orthodox Christians from around the world, which gave the school an international character.
Numerous Orthodox scholars, theologians, priests, bishops, and patriarchs graduated from Halki, including the current Patriarch Bartholomew I and his immediate predecessors, Patriarchs Demetrius, Athenagoras, and Maximus V . Many patriarchs, bishops, and former teachers of the school are buried on the grounds. The Theological School of Halki was established in order to meet the educational needs of the Church of Constantinople and of Orthodoxy in general. Other contributing causes included the renaissance in learning which occurred during the 19th century; the need for ecclesiastical and theological instruction of the orthodox clergy and the orderly and systematic cultivation of theological knowledge.