The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite has often been referred to as the college of Freemasonry. Scottish Rite masons are encouraged to continue their education on aspects of Freemasonry throughout their lives.

The Valley of Galveston, founded in 1867, is the oldest Scottish Rite body in the State of Texas.  We are the home of the Mother Consistory of Texas, where the "high" degrees of Freemasonry began in our great state. With an illustrious history going back one-hundred fifty years,  the Galveston Valley of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite has survived in face of near insurmountable obstacles, from fevers, to floods, and fires. Throughout all of this the valley has contiued to thrive and be of invaluable service to its membership and community. Our history is rich and our future even more so.

These degrees, the 4th through the 14th, are called the Ineffable Degrees because their principal purpose is the investigation and contemplation of the ineffable name of Deity. The word "ineffable" derives from the Latin ineffabilis which means something which should not be spoken. As used in these degrees, it refers to the belief of ancient Judaism that the name of God was not to be spoken. This concept forms a metaphor for the Scottish Rite teaching that all of the essential qualities of Deity are incapable of description in language.

The first three degrees in Masonry, Entered Apprentice (1°), Fellow Craft(2°) and Master Mason (3°) are all conferred in a Blue Lodge, under the authority of the Grand Lodges. This is recognized as the unquestioned prerogative of the Grand Lodge. In Texas, where the Valley of Galveston is located, no Mason may petition any appendant body, including the Scottish Rite, unless they have made satisfactory proficiency in the examination of a Master Mason.

The Fifteenth through Eighteenth Degrees comprise the Chapter of Rose Croix. It commences with the trials of those who have acquired Knowledge, and who wish to climb to yet higher truths. The Chapter of Rose Croix presents Faith, Hope and Charity as sure guides to our actions, and as the safest paths through adversity. We are instructed to follow for them in their highest form of human expression: as Compassion and the Law of Love.

The degrees encompassed by the Council of Kadosh are the 19th through the 30th. Although Albert Pike identifies them as chivalric or philosophical, they are all intensely mystical with respect to the lessons conveyed and symbols employed. The word "Kadosh" itself is Hebrew and is usually translated as "holy." A more precise meaning is "separated." The mission of Masonry is not to create "holy" men, but to set apart from the rest of humanity those exemplary men who practice her noble virtues in the pursuit of truth.

The Consistory of the Masters of the Royal Secret (The Consistory, for short) comprises the 31st and 32nd Degrees. The word consistory derives from the Latin consistorium, which means both "tribunal" and "imperial council." As with other degrees of Freemasonry, the consistorial degrees present some of their lessons by borrowing the symbols of other cultures and times.

In addition to the 4th through the 32nd degrees, there are certain "honours" bestowed by the Supreme Council. These honors of 32° Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, and the 33° Inspector General Honorary, can never be applied for nor bought, and if solicited or applied for, must be refused.

The Scottish Rite Master Craftsman (SRMC) college is an exciting online series of courses designed and administered by staff at the House of the Temple in Washington, DC, under the guidance and leadership of the Supreme Council, 33°, of the A&A Scottish Rite, SJ, USA. Upon completion of each program, the participant will be rewarded with certification and a medal or pins to denote multiple completions.

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The College of the Consistory is a free self-study program for Scottish Rite Masons of all Orients.  The curriculum is facilitated by the Guthrie College in Oklahoma and made available to all enrolled members.  The College distributes to its members a syllabus of each degree of the Scottish Rite, which will provide ideas for essays and research papers.

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