The Scottish Rite seeks to strengthen the community and believes that each man should act in civil life according to his individual judgment and the dictates of his conscience.
A member of the Scottish Rite seeks to:
- Exalt the dignity of every person, the human side of his daily activities, and the maximum service to humanity.
- Aid mankind's search in God's universe for identity, for development and for destiny, and thereby produce better men in a better world, happier men in a happier world and wiser men in a wiser world.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry.
In the United States the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry.The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or blue lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in each country is governed by a Supreme Council. There is no international governing body — each Supreme Council in each country is sovereign unto itself.
In the U.S. there are two Supreme Councils. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ) is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the Southern Jurisdiction (SJ) in Washington, DC.
The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction refers to state organizations as Councils of Deliberation and the local bodies are organized into Valleys.
Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees. In the Northern Masonic Jurusdiction, the bodies are the:
- Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°)
- Council of Princes of Jerusalem (15°–16°)
- Chapter of Rose Croix (17°–18°)
- Consistory (19°–32°)
The Supreme Council confers the 33° of Sovereign Grand Inspector General