The Non-public Ecclesiastical High School “The Holy Cross” in Gjirokastër is an educational institution under the direction of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. It was founded in September 1998 and began operating through the initiative and the care of His Beatitude Anastasios, Archbishop of Tirana, Durrës and all Albania.
It adheres to the state laws for ecclesiastical non-public (two languages) institutions and is based on the program from the Ministry of Education and Science. His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios grants scholarships to the pupils of the school.
One of the objectives of the school is to have the proper facilities for the pupils to achieve a high cultural and scientific level. Along with a trained academic staff, the school aims for education and integration as valued members in society. Another objective is to educate and train the younger generation for the needs of the Church.
The teaching staff is specialized in their areas of study and some have advanced degrees. The school is equipped with a variety of laboratories and necessary supplies.
Venue and Surroundings
The Ecclesiastical High School “The Holy Cross” is located in one of the characteristic locales in Gjirokastër; a traditional complex of stone-like buildings. It was bought and refurbished by Archbishop Anastasios, who felt it was important to save the historic and cultural value of the building. Inside the complex however, there are modern facilities and a dormitory. It is a perfect setting to realize the school’s objectives.
Besides the classrooms, the school is equipped with offices, a computer laboratory, a study room, a richly endowed library, athletic facilities, a dining room, dormitory and a chapel where the worship services take place.
The Goal of the School
The goal of the school is to provide pupils with:
• General academic and educational training
• Knowledge and love of the Orthodox faith and Christian ethics, a clear conscience and an orthodox way of life
• The appropriate atmosphere to acquire the personality traits which will make them helpful and worthy members of the Church and the society.
• In order to achieve the above goals, the appropriate surroundings are provided for the growth of an orthodox Christian spiritual life - pupils are made aware of their mission.
• To educate new candidates for the Theological Academy ‘Resurrection of Christ’ in St. Vlash, Durrës, where students will find a continuation of the education provided by the Ecclesiastical High School ‘Holy Cross’.
The students are active in many school programs, in their lessons, in liturgical services and school activities. Through a combination of the philosophy of life with school activities, each pupil is given the opportunity to develop his own personality and special skills.
The curriculum is based on lesson plans, schedules and textbooks which are approved by the Ministry of Education and Science for a pre-university education. The curriculum also contains religious subjects such as Introduction to Orthodox Faith, Christian Ethics, Catechism, Byzantine Music and Iconography.
Students participate in the daily worship services. The objective is to learn the rules of worship, chant hymns and use the liturgical books to assist the churches in their towns. There are gifted Byzantine music teachers who instruct and direct the choirs.
The dormitory of the school has modern facilities for the pupils, so they may live like a big family with a spirit of friendship, cooperation and respect for each other. The school also gives regular medical assistance to its pupils. Over 80% of the students, who complete their education here, pursue advanced degrees at the University of their Choice.
The Non-public Ecclesiastical High School ‘The Holy Cross’
Lagja 11 Janari, Gjirokastër
Phone: 084 263 227; Fax: 084 266 543