Alexandria was famous for its many schools long before Christianity became established in the city. By far the largest school was the “Museum,” founded by Ptolemy and destined to become the most renowned school in the East. Other celebrated institutions were the “Serapeum” and the “Sebastion.” Each of these three schools possessed its own enormous library.
St. Jerome records that St. Mark himself founded the Christian School of Alexandria . The Holy Spirit inspired him to establish the school in order to teach Christianity since this was the only way to provide the new religion a solid foundation in the city.
The School eventually became the oldest center for sacred sciences in the history of Christianity.
The Christian School started as a Catechetical School where candidates were admitted to learn the Christian faith and some Biblical studies to qualify for baptism. Admittance was open to all people regardless of culture, age or background.
By the second century, its substantial influence on church life.
THE SCHOOL’S DEANS
A quick glimpse of the names heading the Christian School of Alexandria provides ample evidence of the school’s history and its rank among similar institutions. Among these are Athenagoras, Pantaenus, Clement, Origen, Heraclas, Alexander, Dionysius, Theognostes, Peter, Macarius, Didymus the Blind as well as Athanasius the Apostolic, Cyril of Alexandria, Dioscorus, etc.