The Izabela Hendrix Methodist Institute and the Izabela Hendrix Methodist School are maintained by the Methodist Church. The Methodist movement arose with the renovation of the Anglican Church, in England, in the first half of the 1700, during the Industrial Revolution, inside Oxford University. From there, it expanded to other continents and built schools by its churches. Since the beginning it has a theological-philosophical conception of unity between the practice of faith and the education to social life.
In Brazil, the constitution of a proper education system originates with the arriving of Protestantism in the country, the opening of the ports and the substitution of slavery by paid work force. The educational work was a strategy to the establishment of the church in the country. The Methodists believed that education would contribute to the end of ignorance, illiteracy and would promote the modernization of society and prepare new generations to be future leaders. The first Methodist schools were located in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul.
Izabela Hendrix Methodist School was founded on October, 5th, 1904 by Miss Marta Watts, missionary of the Methodist church in the United States. She had a mission to create a school to Brazilian women, with resources of US women. The work was pioneer in Minas Gerais, because it contributed in the affirmation of women’s right and capacity to interfere in social life. At first, Izabela Hendrix Methodist School was a primary school, like other Methodist schools and has always connected its educational projects to the demands of the society.
The Institution has been in Belo Horizonte for over a Century and has, today, more than 6 thousand students. It seeks to contribute to the correction of social gaps, opening opportunities to people usually on the fringes of society such as black, indigenous and disabled people.
In 1967 the school began to receive men as well as women. In 1972, the Institution started Higher Education. In 2008 the Primary Education became bilingual and full time.