Commenting upon the Phillips Brooks House as an example of an undergraduate organization engaged in modern and practical interpretation of religious work, independent of national organization, Dean Sperry has touched upon one of the outstanding sore spots in the organization of religious activity in the colleges.
The majority of college religious organizations remain true to the older, more conservative program of evangelical and devotional work. Dwight Hall, Yale undergraduate organization corresponding to the Phillips Brooks House, maintains the Yale Hope Mission, attempts religious discussion groups for Freshmen, is affiliated with the student branch of the Y. M. C. A. The Phillips Brooks House devotes its energies to social service work, university hospitality, cooperation with student government, and is independent of national organization. Loan libraries, medical and dental clinics in Boston settlement houses, service to Student Council, Senior Album committee, or class groups, form the concrete daily routine of the Brooks House. Dwight Hall represents the clash of the conservative ambition of timid national organizations with a changed student mind, too filled with the sober religion of undergraduate activity to be receptive to organized contemplative philosophy. Time and effort have been spent in former years at Harvard in the attempted organization of contemplative discussion groups. The increased effort necessary to produce the slightest response, and the obvious failure of such organization has born testimony to the changing current of student expression. In recognizing this condition, the Phillips Brooks House has by no means fallen before the onslaught of a new college generation; rather it has anticipated the present state and so adapted itself as to turn the changing current of undergraduate opinion into a broader channel of religious service.