The Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium was founded in 1632 as a result of uniting the Kyiv Brotherhood School and the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra School and entered the history of the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy as the second stage of its development. Petro Mohyla, in the status of the Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, according to the will of the first rector of the Jov Boretsky Brotherhood School of Kyiv as for supporting the school in Podil, joined the Kyiv Brotherhood, got the title of Senior Brother, patron and founder of the Kyiv Brotherhood Collegium (afterwards, the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium). For the needs of the Collegium and the monastery, Petro Mohyla built one of the first KMA buildings, the refectory with St. Hlib and Borys Church, where disputes were held and the first library was located. The College was officially approved in 1635 by the Polish King Władysław IV Vasa.
The collegium was not just a formal union of the two schools, but in fact, a new educational institution modelled after Jesuit collegiums, which were the most progressive centers of education in Europe in the seventeenth century. In addition, to ensure a high level of instruction, Petro Mohyla, at his own expense, sent future faculty members to study at Western European universities and academies. The main language of instruction was Latin, which at that time was the language of international communication in science, jurisprudence, and political life. The curriculum included so-called schools (classes or courses): analogies, infima, grammar, syntax, poetics, rhetoric, logic, and dialectics. The first four classes gave a general liberal arts education; the poetics class offered the art of verse; the class of rhetoric, the theory and practice of oratory. The class of philosophy, in addition to logic and dialectics, included the natural sciences: physics, mathematics, astronomy, zoology. Afterwards, the collegium introduced a university course in philosophy, which started in the 1646-1647 academic year and was conducted by the Rector, professor of the collegium Innocent Giselle, who wrote a student textbook on philosophy “Opus totius philosophiae” (“A composition on all philosophy”). In addition to Latin, the Collegium offered Old Ukrainian, Church Slavonic, Greek, and Polish. Characteristic of the educational process in the collegium were public debates. The collegium, continuing the tradition of its predecessor, the Kyiv Brotherhood School, was an all-inclusive institution without age restrictions. Thanks to Petro Mohyla’s donation, the Collegium had one of the largest libraries of its time, which included more than 2,000 domestic and Western European publications. The Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium contributed to an increase in the number of educated people, elementary school teachers, “traveling student” teachers. Owing to the high standards of education, the students of the Collegium continued their studies at the universities of Krakow, Heidelberg, Königsberg, Leipzig, Padua, Rome, Paris, and Vienna.
The Collegium was headed by Rector who was at the same time Hegumen of the Kyiv Epiphany Monastery. The rectors of the Collegium were known at that time theologians and philosophers; namely, Isaiah Trofymovych-Kozlovskyi (1632-1638), Sophronia Pochasskyi (1638-1640), Ignatius Oksenovych Starushych, Joseph Kononovych Horbatskyi (1640-1642), Innocent Gisel (1640-1642), -1650). According to the Treaty of Hadiach of 1658, between the Hetman State and the Commonwealth, the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium was granted the status of academy: it received the same rights as Krakow Academy (then the Jagiellonian University). After the incorporation of Ukrainian territories into the Moscow State, the university status and the title of “academy” of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was officially recognized by certificates of the Russian Tsars in 1694 and in 1701.