Education played a crucial role in the intellectual, socio-political, and religious developments that were part of the confessionalization processes in northwestern Germany. Particularly Bremen with its Gymnasium Illustre (1528-1812) developed into an educational stronghold, notably in theology and law. After Bremen's adoption of the Reformed confession in 1562 and more so under its prolific rectors Matthias Martinius, Ludwig Crocius, and Gerhard Meier in the seventeenth century, the Academy supplied hundreds of theologians and clergymen to Reformed churches and institutions throughout Europe. Molded by reform humanists of the Strasbourg and Zurich stamp, the Reformed character of the Gymnasium never lost its moderate, irenic bias. With this northern German flavor of the Reformed confession, the polychromy of Protestantism as well as of confessionalism in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe was enriched with yet another nuance.