What is the program of Ashlar College?
1 – Origins and History of Freemasonry to 1640
This first course is exploring the small and limited material which exists about how Freemasonry as we know it today was occurring from a period of 1390 through to 1640. The student is required to contemplate what knowledge there is written and put forward his thoughts.
2 – Jurisprudence – Constitutions and Regulations of BC&Y
Jurisprudence is a system or body of law, and the science or philosophy of the law. I addition to looking at the Constitutions, the student also looks at other aspects of Masonic law, landmarks, and the bylaws of the lodge, ancient usages and customs and the prerogatives of a Grand Master.
3 – Philosophy, Ethics and Principles
The student will study the sections of our lives which create within us the principles for an upright life, the belief in a God: the VOSL: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth: Temperance Fortitude, Prudence and Justice: Faith, Hope and Charity: Honour and Virtue: These each are referenced in our ritual.
4 – History of Freemasonry in Canada
The history of Freemasonry in Canada from the first lodge to today, where all provinces now have sovereign Grand Lodges. This course encourages the student to understand the importance of history and that Freemasonry is vital to have its history recorded.
5 – Protocol
Protocol or Masonic Etiquette is the way we ‘do’ things in lodge, either through tradition or through the rules governing our Grand Lodge, District, or Lodge. The student explores behaviour of ourselves in a lodge setting and compares/contrasts them to etiquette that we as humans agree to behave in our daily lives.
6 – Masonic Symbolism – setting up lodge, requirements and their significance
The understanding of our Symbols, their origin, history and application from both an esoteric and esoteric perspective is an unending quest and one that must of necessity be undertaken by the individual Mason and based on his own personal perspectives and needs. The Course has students examine the symbols of a lodge room, their significance and placement.
7 – Origins and History of Freemasonry from 1631 through to 1717
The course continues the student’s survey of masonic events and factual proof of Freemasonry expanding towards the establishing to the Grand Lodge of England. You will be identifying up to three men whose influence towards the developing Freemasonry is of significance in our present Freemasonry.
8 – Effective Leadership and Communication
The course will evaluate important characteristics of leadership for a lodge and improved communications. This course is very practical, as the concluding assignments will put the student in a good position to offer gentle suggestions to his lodge for change and improvement.
9 – Lectures and Charges Part I
This course is the first part of two courses exploring the meaning and understanding of our lectures and charges. The analysis will be helpful to understand the importance of the two sections to each degree. You will focus on what the words mean in our lectures and charges.
10 – History of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
This course builds on 1B.1 – Canadian History of Freemasonry. The scope of the course is from 1860s to 2000s. The student will review closely several significant chapters of the History of Freemasonry of British Columbia authored by J. Marshall. The birth, growth and development of Freemasonry in BC&Y is explored. The History of Freemasonry in BC is now available on our website.
11 – Planning
Planning of any event and of any organization is imperative for the progress of the individual or the institution. This course takes the student through several areas of planning and provides him with skills to prepare a plan for his use, as well as offering skills to help a lodge in creating plans, or improving plans it may have.
12 – Lectures and Charges Part II
This course is part two of 2A.3. In this section the student will delve into the early manuscripts from which some of the wording found in our lectures and charges comes from. He will review one manuscript of his choosing. What content does it have which is still used or referred to in our present ritual and/or constitution?
13 – Origins of Freemasonry 1717 through to 1813
The course is a follow-on from 2A.1 where the student looks and the historical significance of events and Masons who developed the Freemasonry from 1717 through to the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. This course explores the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges of that era.
14 – Mentoring
In the past decade our Grand Lodge has supported the concept of mentoring, mentoring new masons, mentoring officers, mentoring each other. The course explores the importance of mentoring in our lodges and has the student prepare a plan for including mentoring in his lodge.
15 – Virtues
Our rituals are teeming with virtues, either directly stated or implied. Given a list of 96 virtues, the student will analyze the ritual he uses to show were the virtues are mentioned or implied. He will also select three virtues and write a short paper on each.
16 – World Freemasonry
The student will select another Masonic jurisdiction and review the basics of its structure, constitution, history, and make some comparisons with our own jurisdiction.
17 – The Masonic Family
Since the formation of formal Masonry (1717), the development of several rites and other masonic orders, have been created. The student will choose three appendant or Concordant organizations and explore the origins, history and present condition of these orders.
18 – A Personal Philosophy
Having taken all the work of the courses, the student will now begin to lay out for himself a philosophy of his own which may or may not have been influenced by his present membership in the craft.
Students at level 3 are invited to explore some self-directed studies of Masonic topics of their interest, and substitute them with any two of the 6 courses outlined in level three shown above. Self-directed courses can be from any of the three streams.