Becoming a Nun to Receive a Quality Education


This article from the History Channel website reveals the motivation behind many women’s decision to enter convents during the Middle Ages. Around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, male education was prioritized, and military skills were deemed even more important. While lay women received little to no education, nuns often received a higher education because they were expected to comprehend Biblical writing. Some convents also offered lessons in arithmetic, the Latin language, and grammar. As a result, many religious women attained more power than their lay counterparts during this time, as they received more formal education and often rose through the ranks of a religious abbey.


For Further Reading:

Learn about Sister Juliana Morell, the first woman to receive a university degree.


Discussion Question:

This history article highlights the prioritization of male education over that of women. While this particular story focuses on women in the Middle Ages, this issue still persists around the world today. Can you think of any other examples in different parts of the world where women have had to make sacrifices for the sake of an education?


Action Item:

In short: if you have the privilege of receiving a quality education, take advantage of it. Remember that countless women of the past and present either did not receive any form of education, or had to go to great lengths to attain one.



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