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Masonic Development Program
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The Official

Masonic Development Program

of the

Table of Contents

Forward        2

PREFACE - EXPECTATIONS   ekspekˈtāSH(ə)n        3

Membership experience        3

Masonic education        3

Leadership and management        3

Beyond the lodge        3

Philanthropy        3

Technology        3


The Inquiry        4

Introduction        4

Approaching the Portal        4

Recommended Reading        5


Degrees        6

Proficiency of Degrees        6

Candidate Proficiency Requirements        7

Recommended Reading List        7

Mentor’s Manual        7

Mentor’s Instructions        8


Lodge Officer’s Handbook        10

Proficiency in Lodge Management (PiLM)        10

Lodge Leadership Retreat        10

Recommended Reading List: For The Mason Contemplating Office        10


Scottish Rite: The Symbolic Lodge        11

Recommended Reading List        11


Click here for Audio Forward

I believe that men join our Fraternity looking for more; more knowledge, more friends, more service, and the “unknown more, the things he thinks he wants to know, but isn’t sure what, those are the hidden mysteries that need to be revealed.

If a man doesn’t find what he is looking for, then has he failed the Fraternity or has the Fraternity failed him? Prior to becoming a member, if he is given the opportunity to understand the journey he is about to embark upon, then the likelihood of him staying the course is much higher.

If he has a basic understanding of what we offer and if that understanding aligns with his worthwhile goals and dreams for himself, then our Craft will fill a void in his very soul and make him a Mason for life. He will come back again and again to fill that void and pretty soon, through mentorship and leadership, he can help others fill the void in their own lives.

If a man isn’t allowed to understand what we are truly offering and align the goals of the Craft with his own goals and dreams prior to becoming a member, then his tenure as a Mason will be short. If he happens to make it through one or all of the Degrees of Masonry, then you will find that he pays his dues but doesn’t attend, he demits from your Lodge, or he stops paying dues.

However, if we can provide some of the “unknown”, the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry in the beginning and early on in his Masonic career, then we have a much better chance of developing life long, active members and most importantly, life long friends and brothers.

September 26 2019 - Long Range Planning,

Leadership Training, & Real Estate Committees


Expectations can be defined as; 1) a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future, and 2) a belief that someone will or should achieve something.

Do we believe that this new inquirer, this new Mason will achieve something?

If we sign his petition, I certainly hope so!

If we elect him to the Degrees of Masonry, I certainly hope so!

If we establish basic expectations for ourselves, our Lodges and our Membership, then we can only succeed if we travel forward, along the path to fulfilling those expectations. As the saying goes, “You either fail to plan or you are planning to fail.” is so true when setting expectations.

What do we expect from our Lodge? What do we expect from our Grand Lodge? We should be able to expect at least these Six Supports that outline the elements of Long Range Planning:

Membership experience        

Engage and retain members and their families through an enhanced, sustaining, and relevant membership experience.

Masonic education          

Educate members and communities about the fraternity’s intriguing and enduring history, values, practical application of our principles, and relevance to society today.

Leadership and management

Strengthen our leaders and cultivate new ones; strengthen management and governance effectiveness at all levels.

Beyond the lodge                      

Instill a wider Masonic perspective, inside and outside the fraternity, by deepening the connection between members, lodges, the worldwide body of Freemasonry, concordant organizations, and the Public at large.


Focus our philanthropic efforts through Washington Masonic Charities


In all areas, leverage technology for communications, education, management, charities, and deepening the connections of members to our Fraternity.


The Inquiry

For every inquirer some form of the Six Steps program should be followed. Even if we "know" the man, he should have the opportunity to be asked and answer the 12 questions in the Traditional Approach document AND the Mentor Checklist should be completed for all inquirers - BEFORE they receive a petition.

INQUIRY: Six Steps Program & Six Step Checklist

Click here for Six Steps Audio Introduction


On behalf of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Washington, thank you for your interest in Masonry. Becoming a Mason is a serious and, potentially, life changing decision. It is not one you should take lightly and will require substantial commitment on your part. However, the rewards of being a Mason can be significant. This is not measured in material wealth, for the Lodge doesn’t offer business opportunities or other material gain, but a system of continual improvement, community involvement, self-discovery and comradery with like-minded men.

This document will walk you through the steps all men should take before requesting to become a Freemason. Historically, men became Freemasons through family or close friends who belonged to the Lodge. This connection ensured that members of good standing in the Lodge knew the character and background of the potential candidate for membership. However, today most men approach Masonry through casual connections (Internet, calling the Lodge, etc.) after their interest has been kindled by reading books and/or seeing videos about the Lodge. Because of this, the Grand Lodge of Washington

has developed this plan of six steps that will allow you to know if the Lodge is right for you and the Lodge to know if you are a good candidate to potentially be raised to the highest degree in Craft Masonry: Master Mason.

Approaching the Portal

This is read and summarized by almost every inquirer these days (as long as we refer them to our website!) Approaching the Portal

The Process

Each candidate should be explained the overall process of the Inquiry, Petition, Degrees and Proficiency so they have an overall understanding of the process. For example, after he petitions, there may be a delay until the next Stated Meeting where the petition can be read aloud.

Then the investigation committee is appointed and there may be a delay before he receives a request to visit his home for the investigation.

Next, after the investigation the Lodge must ballot and there may be a delay before he hears back on the outcome of the ballot.

If the ballot is successful, then he would be contacted to identify a date that is suitable for the first Degree.

In between each of these steps or stages, there may be a period of silence that could be unnerving for a candidate if he is not made aware that there will be some time in between these stages if there aren’t already some events planned that he can attend.

Recommended Reading

Consider the section: For the man considering Masonry



The Standard Work of the Jurisdiction of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington shall be the combined Esoteric Work and “Washington Monitor and Freemasons Guide to the Symbolic Degrees''. Every Lodge shall practice this Standard Work and no other.

Standard Work - Entered Apprentice

Standard Work - Fellowcraft

Standard Work - Master Mason

Proficiency of Degrees

This section could be provided one on one by the Mentor, as a small study group, an online seminar, or even on a quarterly basis in a regional format.

Because the Washington Masonic Code requires that a Mason prove some level of proficiency in his degree prior to advancement, and because the Lodge is the sole judge of this proficiency, the following is provided with a focus on general education in Degree and may be used to provide a Mason with a basis for proficiency in his degree.

Sec. 20.10 B.L.

Proficiency in the Degrees.  

No candidate shall be passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft nor raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason without proof of proficiency in the preceding Degree. As a minimum, a candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the obligation, signs, words, and grips and all modes of recognition of each Degree.

The Lodge shall be the sole judge of the proficiency of the candidate in the preceding Degree, which shall be ascertained by examination, either in open Lodge or by a committee appointed by the Master of the Lodge and recorded by the Secretary.

The candidate may be offered the Masonic Development Program approved by the Grand Lodge in place of the Standard Posting Lecture as proof of proficiency at the option of the Lodge.

Regardless of which method of determining proficiency is selected, every candidate progressing through the Degrees will be furnished a copy of the Masonic Development Program by his Lodge.

The three New Member Instruction documents provided here are a supplement to the lectures provided in each degree. The additional details further suggest many aspects of Freemasonry do not have a singular meaning, but rather an interpretive one and that this journey of interpretation and understanding is the true journey of a Freemason.

New Member Instruction 1 - Entered Apprentice     

New Member Instruction 2 - Fellowcraft     

New Member Instruction 3 - Master Mason

Candidate Proficiency Requirements

Click here for Candidate Proficiency Requirements Audio

  1. The test may be taken with the reading material available to you at the time of the test. Once the test has been successfully completed, you are then eligible to give the memorization portion at a Lodge meeting or to a Proficiency Committee appointed by the Master.
  2. In addition to demonstrating that you have an understanding of the Degrees you have received, you will be expected to attend meetings of your Lodge with your mentor between Degrees and even after receiving the Master Mason Degree. You will want to arrange to attend meetings of some other Lodge with your mentor or mentor and to attend at least one of your own Lodge’s Stated or business meetings. Becoming proficient involves becoming involved in the workings of your Lodge, and this is an efficient way for you to broaden your understanding of how Masonry works.
  3. In the event you cannot attend meetings of your Lodge or other meetings of other Lodges, you and your mentor will want to arrange for additional readings to give you the background you will need to be an active member of your Lodge. Once you have arranged a selection of readings with your mentor you will be on your honor to complete them. However, you may want to discuss the materials you are reading with your mentor just to be sure you understand what you have read.
  4. Please make sure that you or your mentor fills in the Proficiency Record.

Recommended Reading List

Consider the sections: For the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason

Mentor’s Manual

This can be obtained on Grandview, and is currently only available to Secretaries or those with Admin access. This document is used by the mentor to ensure the new Brother has achieved a full experience in each Degree.

Mentor - Mentor Packet

Click here for Mentor’s Instructions Audio

Mentor’s Instructions (intender)

The objective of the Masonic Development Program is to create good Masons and Lodge members by teaching them the basic philosophies of Freemasonry, educating them in the customs and ceremonies of the Craft and by having them develop a habit of attending Lodge, meeting his Brothers, and generally becoming comfortable with the organization. In addition to this document, you should refer to the Mentor’s Manual produced by Grand Lodge.

  1. You have been selected to mentor your new Mason so that he may pass his proficiency. It is expected that you will attend each meeting that the new Mason is able to attend and to encourage him to attend as many as he can. You will endeavor to have the signers of his petition attend as well, by making them aware of the meetings.
  2. The Lodge Secretary should have provided him with the first section of this document, Approaching the Portal, upon his election. As he takes each Degree, you will provide him with the appropriate portion of this book, and any necessary additional reading material.
  3. The Mason may take the written test whenever he feels capable. It may be taken with the reading material available to him at the time of the test, and you do not have to be in attendance when he takes it. He has been instructed that he must pass each written test with a score of at least 80%. Regardless of his score, you are to review the incorrect answers with him, and upon your satisfaction that he understands them, proceed with his proficiency. Retests are not necessary, even if his initial score was below the minimum 80%. Once the test has been completed and the incorrect answers reviewed with the Brother, he is then eligible to give the memorization portion at an open Lodge meeting or to a Proficiency Committee.
  4. In addition to the written test and memorization for each Degree, it is necessary for the Brother to attend a total of at least four Lodge meetings, no less than one of which will be a visitation to another Lodge, and one Stated Meeting of his own Lodge, before he can be considered sufficiently proficient to receive a dues card. You should endeavor to accompany him to the Lodge meetings. It is desirable that he be encouraged to attend each of his own Lodge’s meetings that his advancement will permit.
  5. In the event that it is impossible for the Brother to attend the required Lodge meetings or visitations, he may substitute a reading or additional memorization for each meeting missed. Additional memorization may be any charge or prayer, Apron Lecture or any officer’s part or Test Oath. Readings may consist of pamphlets provided by the Masonic Service Association or Masonic books, including reference works. The visitation meeting may only be substituted by a reading or memorization work and not by additional attendance at his own Lodge meeting. The Brother’s word that he has reviewed the reading will be sufficient information that he has qualified for this portion of the proficiency; however it would be beneficial that a discussion be held with him to answer any questions that he may have regarding the material.
  6. It is expected that you will help him learn the memorization work. Please make sure that you fill in the proficiency records in your book and also in the Brother’s book.
  7. As each proficiency is completed, the Brother will keep the symbolic instruction booklet and the reference material permanently.
  8. Return all of your material to the Lodge Secretary upon final completion of the Proficiency. Please remember that except for the esoteric test questions, the Brother will keep his book as a permanent reference work.
  9. IMPORTANT – Please return the questionnaire to the Lodge Secretary at the completion of the Brother’s three Degrees, or if he fails to proceed with the Degrees within six months, at that time. Both the mentor’s and the Brother’s opinions are very important to us. It is only from your comments that we may improve the program.


Lodge Officer’s Handbook

The purpose of the Lodge Officers’ Handbook is to provide all Masons, more especially the Lodge officers in this Jurisdiction, suggestions for successful Lodge operational practices. This Handbook is a compilation of previous versions; it is not to be considered definitive but only suggestive.

 Lodge Officer's Handbook

Click here for the Lodge Officer’s Handbook Intro Audio

Proficiency in Lodge Management (PiLM)

The continued success and growth of each Lodge is determined in large part by the skill with which its affairs are managed by those elected to leadership roles. The purpose of the Proficiency in Lodge Management (PiLM) exam is to encourage a study of the necessary details of The Standard Work (TSW), Washington Masonic Code (WMC) and Lodge Officers Handbook (LOH). It may also challenge any Mason to stay current with our Work—and be a better Mentor, Leader, and Mason.

 Proficiency in Lodge Management

Lodge Leadership Retreat

The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. While the primary focus of the retreat is for Lodge officers, any Master Mason, including current Worshipful Masters or Past Masters, may attend based on a first come and space available basis. A variety of courses will be offered, including; Six Steps to Initiation, Lodge Finances, Temple Board Finances, Masonic Education Programs, Installation Planning (Coed), Public Relations and many others.

 Lodge Leadership Retreat

Recommended Reading List: For The Mason Contemplating Office

Observing the Craft - Eight Steps:


Scottish Rite: The Symbolic Lodge

The information provided by the Scottish Rite is an in-depth study of BLUE LODGE and the first 3 Degrees of Masonry. The Symbolic Lodge, Program 1 of the Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program will familiarize students with aspects of the development of Blue Lodge Masonry and explore some of its developing symbolism.

...the symbolism of Masonry is, in my opinion, the soul of Masonry. When you shall have read what I have written, you may be led to take up and complete, or at least carry further the work. It is a wide field, and I am quite conscious how little I have done towards exploring it. If, as I said in our Western Country, I have ‘blazed the way’ for others, I am quite content.

Master Craftsman Program I: The Symbolic Lodge - (1º, 2º, 3º, using Albert Pike’s Esoterika: The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry and Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor & Guide)

Recommended Reading List

Consider the section: For the seasoned Master Mason

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