Tolnai studied philosophy and theology in the Netherlands and England from 1631 to 1638. Following the pattern of the English Puritans, he founded a society in London for the support of Reformed education in Hungary. On returning to his homeland he worked to have Hungarian introduced as a teaching language, and for the disentanglement of the Reformed Church from the Episcopal system of thoroughly applied controls by an elected council of elders. From 1639 to 1642 he was Professor of Reformed Theology at Sárospatak. The bishops of the Hungarian Reformed Church sought support against him from Prince György I Rákóczi. György I’s widow, Zuzana Lórántffy, supported Tolnai. Tolnai criticised Comenius’ work with schools as being too open and secular.