The [[academy]] had its origin as the '''Greek Latin School''' organized in Moscow in 1687. The school was the first higher education institution in Moscovy, Established under a prikaz of [[Patriarch]] [[Joachim (Savelov) of Moscow|Joachim]], the academy began instruction under the leadership of two Greek brothers, Joannicus and Sophronius Likhud on the grounds of the Zaikonospassky Monastery. The school opened with an enrollment of over 70 students. The curriculum was arranged into several levels, or “schools” with classes in the Slovenian and Greek languages, seven liberal arts classes, and theology.
In 1694, the Likhud brothers were dismissed, and two of the students at the school, Feodor Polikarpov and N. Semenov (Golovin), became the teachers at the academy. Over the next several years attendance increased such that by the start of the eighteenth century over two hundred students attended the academy. In 1701, Tsar Peter I made the school a state academy, under the leadership of Fr. Palladius (Rogovsky), a celibate [[priest]] who invited graduates from the [[seminary|seminaries]] in Kiev and Lvov to teach at the Greek Latin Academy. With the arrival of the new instructors, who were familiar with the educational practices of western Europe, the Latin language became the principal language for instruction at the academy.
In 1918, following the October Revolution of 1917, the Academy at Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra was closed by the new Bolshevik government. A few of the professors from the academy, including the former [[rector]] [[Archbishop]] Feodor Pozdeevsky, I.V. Popov, and Fr Pavel Florensky, attempted to continue the school informally in Moscow, but attendance was sparse.
In September 1943, at the height of World War II and during negotiations by the leader of the Soviet government, Joseph Stalin, to enlist the support of the Orthodox Church in opposing the Nazi invaders, Stalin agreed to reopen the Higher Theological School. On [[June 14]], 1944, Stalin fulfilled his promise as the '''Theological Institute''' was opened in the [[Novodevichy Monastery (Moscow)|Novodevichy Convent]] in Moscow. This was the first official theological school allowed by the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union. The curriculum was prepared by by Grigory (Chukov), Archbishop of Saratov. The first rector of the reopened school was I. V. Savinsky.
In 1946, the Theological Institute was transformed into the Moscow Seminary and '''Moscow Theological Academy'''. The Academy was granted, in 1947, the right to award the theological degrees of Kandidat, Doctor. and Professor.