Anna Maria van Schurman was a Dutch philosopher born on November 5, 1607 in Cologne, Germany. A woman who excelled at reading and learning from a very young age, she became known in her day for being a strong female philosopher, arguing for the education of Christian woman. Schurman excelled in many of the arts, and was able to master 14 languages. She became the first Dutch woman to gain a higher education when she attended the University of Utrecht in 1636. Schurman spent her time corresponding with highly educated woman across Europe, and eventually published several texts that advocated for the education of Christian woman. At the time, many noble and wealthy families did tutor their daughters, however an access to formal education was lacking for most women. Schurman was deeply religious, as evident in her works, and broke from the Reformed Church of the Netherlands in the 1660s to join a Protestant movement called the Labadists.