The York Rite Sovereign College of North America exists primarily to be of service to the York Rite of Freemasonry. Constituent colleges must declare fealty to the Grand Lodge of their respective jurisdictions. The prerequisite for membership, which is by invitation only, is good standing in all four York Rite bodies: Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery or Preceptory (Canada.)
The York Rite Sovereign College of North America came into being in the City of Detroit, Michigan on January 6, 1957. It was the result of a meeting called by Richard W. Lewis, Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Michigan, and attended by the heads of the four Michigan York Rite Grand Bodies and a number of distinguished Masonic leaders from other States. These founders, responding to a need which had long been recognized in the York Rite, outlined the structure and purpose of the new organization and arranged for its incorporation.
The purpose of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America, as set forth in its Constitution and By-Laws, are as follows: (1) To foster a spirit of cooperation an coordination among each of the Bodies of York Rite Masonry. (2) To assist in worthy efforts to improve the ritualistic and dramatic presentation of York Rite work. (3) To conduct an education program in order to inculcate a greater appreciation of the principles, ideals and programs of York Rite Masonry. (4) To strengthen York Rite Masonry in every possible manner. (5) To build up a love of country and to aid and support genuine Patriotism. (6) To reward outstanding service to York Rite Masonry by awards, honors and other methods of proper recognition. (7) To support Charitable and Benevolent Endeavors of Freemasonry.
The YRSCNA administers the Companion Adept of the Temple Program a self-study program through the Degrees and Orders of the York Rite of Freemasonry focused on the ritualistic, philosophical, and esoteric teachings of the Rite.