There is no higher degree in all of Freemasonry than the Masonic third degree, also known as the Master Mason degree.
A Masonic third degree is not an online college degree and because it is not an accredited degree; you cannot obtain your Masters degree online nor via online classes.
Unlike other degree programs online or offline in colleges and universities, the Master Mason degree is only offered by Masonic lodges.
However, that is not to say you cannot obtain an online education about Freemasonry and benefit from your continuing education and online studies because there is a wealth of reputable Masonic information on the internet.
Masonic Third Degree Similarities to College Courses and Online Degrees
Continuing Education: Your Master Mason degree is the beginning of your continuing education. Online classes and Masonic courses are few, therefore your Masonic knowledge will be obtained from Masonic books, instructor led Masonic education classes and Schools of Instruction as well as online learningfrom many of the excellent Masonic websites available to you.
Programs of "Study"
Masonic Ritual: Masonic ritual teaches us lessons learned in the Holy Scriptures, around which Freemasonry evolves. Some members choose to learn, excel and "master" Masonic ritual.
These members may go on to become Masonic lecturers, helping others to learn ritual or may be requested to become a District Deputy Grand Lecturer who teaches Masonic education to lodges within his district.
So, if education and teaching is your forte; there is a place for Masonic instructors and mentors within every lodge.
Fraternal Brotherhood: Much like a university degree, others join the fraternity for both the social aspect of lifelong brotherhood as well as the fellowship enjoyed by its members.
Masonic Charity: Members of the fraternity believe in and actively participate in Masonic charity to various and innumerable worthwhile causes which creates a satisfying feeling of "giving back" to their local communities.
There are many avenues for participation in the activities of your lodge, therefore it is best to find the areas where you will be the happiest in your new Masonic home.
Masonic Participation: There are a variety of ways to serve and to benefit,...a period of duty on the Stewards’ Committee, waiting on the brothers who have previously waited on you, learning to participate as a sideliner in the degree work until you are comfortable to help in the work; supporting the Lodge simply by regular attendance at Stated and Special Meetings, calling on a brother who is ill; bringing wives, families and friends to social functions, taking up the study of Masonic research, and, of most special importance,... partaking of all the good fellowship which is available to you through your Lodge.
Lodge Officers: Some take the path toward ascending through the Masonic officer chairs to ultimately arrive "in the East", which is to be elected as the Worshipful Master of the lodge, and whose chair sits in the East.
They fulfill roles having to do with not only the ritual work of each specific officer's position, but lodge officers govern lodge operations including audits and budgets and insure that peace and harmony prevail both within the lodge room and outside its walls.
The Masonic Third Degree...Lifelong Study
Just as college or university degrees prepare students for a lifelong career in their chosen field, financially,... your Masonic degree will not enrichen you, monetarily. The enrichment you will find is in the spiritual practice of the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, each day of your life, as you attempt to help others do so, as well.
After receiving your Masonic third degree, ...unlike an accredited degree, which may take only 4 to 12 years of your time, it is most probable that you will continue your Masonic studies for the rest of your lifetime.
Masonic Third Degree...The Journey
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization based on a belief in a Supreme Creator. Universally, HE has various names around the world. Freemasonry centers around what our Creator, no matter what each of us call him, wishes for us.
The foundation of a universal brotherhood of man begins in the Holy Scriptures.
Freemasonry is spiritual and does not tell its members the specifics of what to believe or how to believe. An individual member's personal religion is an important part of who he is. A Master Mason degree does not change this..., but builds upon each man's faith in our Creator.
Masonic Third Degree...The Masonic Virtues
The Masonic Virtues of tolerance, prudence, faith, hope, and charity are not simply spoken words, but these, too, are put into practice in the lives of Freemasons.
Masonic Third Degree... The Masonic Ring of a Master Mason
Masonic Ring: Like most colleges and university online schooling, you may purchase your Masonic ring after you have completed your Masonic third degree.
Once you have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, this ring is a daily reminder of your faith in the Creator, your continuing education, and your belief in the Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth as well as your moral duties and boundaries.
These are aptly exemplified in the Masonic artwork, above, which is entitled "Ancient of Days".
These Masonic Poems written by Freemasons, exemplify how they feel about the craft of Freemasonry.
While you may not receive your Master's Degree, online,... may your Masonic Third Degree assist you in charting your Masonic course with wisdom and humility...and it is my hope that you may experience its many rewards, spoken and unspoken, for which you are deserving to both earn and to receive.