Frequently Asked Questions
Do you study only the ALBANIAN Protestant movement?
No. It is impossible to study the Albanian Protestant movement without understanding the broader Protestant movement in Western Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece and beyond. The IAPS is fostering cooperation with scholars from institutions and individuals in these regions, and hopes to cooperate for future studies.
Do you study only the Albanian PROTESTANT movement?
No. Protestant activities in the Balkans unfolded in a complicated context and cannot be understood without studying the greater political, religious, and social climate in the region. Therefore we will welcome any historical studies that shed light on the Albanian Protestant movement, even if only indirectly.
Do you accept donations of documents, images, and memorabilia?
Yes. People have begun reaching out to us to share or donate digital files, books, photos, private archives, and small collections. We desire to preserve, archive, and display the Albanians’ rich history in a safe and inspiring environment (we’ll need some funding, though).
How is IAPS funded?
It was launched without any funds at all, merely as an idea to cooperate for an important cause. In order to serve more people, we will rely on financial gifts and endowments — all tax-deductible in accordance with applicable laws.
How can I donate to the IAPS?
We are setting up an infrastructure to accept bank transfers, checks, electronic payments, and gifts of equities and real estate. For more information please contact us.
How does the IAPS ensure financial integrity and accountability?
The Executive Committee is audited by an Oversight Board and prepares yearly financial reports in accordance with local laws. Our budget and operating procedures may be viewed upon request.
May I volunteer my time to help the IAPS?
Yes! We currently are seeking:
- Transcribers (if you can read English and type, you’re qualified!)
- English language proofreaders (you don’t even have to be a grammar expert!)
- Redaktorë në gjuhën shqipe
- Translators from English into Albanian.
- Graphic designers.
Does the IAPS have political affiliations?
No. We have no political affiliations or agenda, whether local, national, regional, or international; however, we will not allow our neutrality to prevent us from developing healthy relationships with government institutions, international institutions, or scholars perceived by the public to have strong political ties. We are broad and inclusive.
Is the IAPS an Albanian organization?
No. We’re certainly based in Albania, but our leadership is multinational, operating in four different countries. We welcome partnerships from around the world.
Is the IAPS a religious organization?
No. Our founders are evangelical believers with a unique interest in researching their own history in the context of the greater history of the Balkan region, but we are a non-religious research society welcoming members and advisers from diverse backgrounds, based in a country well-known for its atmosphere of peaceful religious co-existence.
Why Protestant, not Evangelical or other?
Simply because, in our opinion, the term “Protestant” is a larger category than “Evangelical,” and we want to be as broad as possible in our research scope. The early Evangelical Protestants were known alternatively as both Protestants and Evangelicals (or, more precisely, Ungjillorë, which we might better translate “Gospellers” or “Gospel People” than “Evangelicals”). In 1892, Gerasim Kyrias and other Evangelical patriots established a society for three purposes: 1) to spread the Gospel in Albania, 2) to publish Albanian literature, and 3) to establish and maintain Albanian schools. They called their society the Evangelical Brotherhood (Vëllazëria Ungjillore), not the “Protestant” brotherhood. Nevertheless, documents reveal they also had a self-awareness as Protestants. We recognize that many Evangelical or Baptist Christians do not consider their roots to be in Protestantism per se, but in pre-Protestant Christian movements. We do not dismiss these historical questions as merely semantic, yet at the same time we had to choose one descriptor to fit our historical niche, and “Protestant” seemed to be the most inclusive and the most obvious choice for identification in scholarly circles.
Will you offer membership? If so, when?
We want to offer membership ASAP, but at the moment we’re under construction. We want to make our membership something meaningful, not just a ploy to get funding. We hope to be ready in 2016, but for the moment, why not just become a de facto member by enjoying all we’re offering on our site for free and by sharing quality resources with us!
Anyone interested in Albanian and Protestant studies. We will offer official membership in 2016. For now, enjoy what is available to all.
What might be the benefits of IAPS membership?
- Access to the IAPS archives and other resources.
- The efficiency of coordinating with others researching a common interest.
- Use of our virtual (and someday physical) library.
- Advice in choosing specific areas of research on Albanian-Protestant studies.
- A means for sharing and publishing research.
What might be some of the qualifications for membership in the IAPS?
- Recommendation by another IAPS member. (Don’t know any members? Contact us.)
- A reason for membership (doing academic research, currently a professor, etc.).
- Willingness to give back to the IAPS (articles, information, etc.).
- Agreement with the values of the IAPS.
- Agreement to the terms and conditions of membership.
- A modest fee (maybe, maybe not — let’s see how our funding comes in).
How much will membership cost?
The IAPS is currently a maturing, volunteer organization, evaluating the services we can offer and our costs to do so. We will always try to keep our membership costs free or low, but without adequate outside funding we may be forced to require a modest membership fee. Some services, like JSTOR access, may require additional fees.
Do you endorse everything on your site and blog?
No. The IAPS blog is a place to gather in one place articles of interest about Albanian-Protestant history (or anything remotely relevant). History is fraught with differences of opinion, even between eminent historians; therefore the content published on this blog is not an indication of approval from the IAPS concerning its political, religious, social, historical, or any other views.
May I reproduce content from your blog?
If you ask the author. The articles posted on the IAPS website are not the intellectual copyright property of the IAPS, but of the individual authors of each post. Therefore, before you copy-paste, you’ll need to get permission from the author(s) (unless quoting small portions for reviews or scholarly papers).
I have more questions. What should I do?
Contact us. We would love to hear from you.