The general chapter of Bruges in 1297 elected Gerard of Bologna, the first Carmelite doctor at the University of Paris. This event marks the end of an era and foreshadows the coming age. Thirteenth century Carmel was predominantly eremitical; all its generals had been hermits. The generals of the coming age are doctors of theology and often retire to bishoprics.
The care of souls undertaken by the Carmelites required a theological training at the universities. In fact, the constitutions of 1281 already show the beginnings of study at the University of Paris. By the end of the 14th century, the Order had houses of study, or studia, affiliated with all the great centers of learning of Europe. The intellectual formation of its members enabled the Order to enter more profoundly into the life of the times, to share in current events, and to contribute to the dialogue over religious problems of the day.