This is the essay for the 22nd week of the 7th Grade Ron Paul Curriculum. It’s about Gerhard Groote.

Gerhard Groote


Groote was born in 1340 in Holland or in today known as the Netherlands. Groote’s parents were very wealthy, so when Groote’s parents died, Groote inherited all of their wealth. Groote’s parents died, due to the Black Death when he was only 10 years old. Groote used this wealth for an amazing education, but also on parties, traveling and other such things. Due to all this wealth when Groote turned into an adult he was a very spoiled and insufferable young man.

One time in 1374 during one of his travels he met an Augustine monk who was preaching. Groote was amazed by this and decided to convert to Christianity. This decision changed Groote’s lifestyle very drastically. He went home and spent hours reading the gospel and other religious books. When Groote went to church he would see all the problems the church had and this made him unable to attend church.

When the Black Death hit his town a second time, a bunch of children became orphans. Groote decided to take these children into his care. Not only did he give them a place to live, he also taught them theology. Over time his schools expanded and Groote even made schools for girls. Groote’s schools began to be known as the Brethren of the Common Life. The name of the girl’s schools was slightly different and was called the Sisters of the Common Life. Groote named these schools this because the orphans in his schools shared a very similar life.

Groote’s schools spread out of the Netherlands due to his traveling and preaching in other countries. When he was out of his schools his old students taught the new students the gospel. After only ten years of teaching at Groote’s schools, the Black Death swept through his town for the third time in 1384. This time Groote died during the third phase. Even though Groote was dead the schools continued without him for 150 years after his death.

Groote was part of the three most important reformers of the Reformation. These were John Wycliffe, Jan Hus and Gerhard Groote. Although has been mostly forgotten due to the other important events during his time. Groote developed the reformation movement a lot and helped Martin Luther and other reformers start their career in theology.