Telos 2020: Grad Student Winter Retreat

Treasures of the Global Church

Telos is Greek meaning “ultimate objective or aim.” During this weekend we will explore together the ultimate aim of our lives by learning from Christians around the world. One of the challenges of our time is becoming isolated or siloed -- whether in university departments, our friendship circles, our thinking, social media, nation from nation, or even our church communities. In contrast, the Apostle Paul describes the church as the “body of Christ” --an image that suggests interdependent and mutual relationships, where each part is valued and needed for the health and flourishing of the whole. As part of the worldwide body of Christ, we all benefit when our relationships deepen with Christians from around the world. Our formation in Christ will suffer without this mutual giving and receiving the gifts of the global church. How might our lives change if we were to learn from the global church about how to worship God in all of life--whether in work or relationships, navigating power or failure, how we approach suffering or prayer?  

Come join grad students from NY, NJ, and PA with InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries (GFM) as we explore these questions and seek to learn from the global church. Join us for a weekend of experiencing God, community, rest, fun & games, learning and reflection. Whether you’ve been following Jesus for a while, are new to the journey, or perhaps are still pondering your faith, we welcome you!

Dates: Beginning Friday, Jan 31 at 6:30 pm and ending Sunday, Feb 2 at 1 pm

Location: Princeton Theological Seminary's Erdman Center (public transportation available)

Keynote Speaker

Vinoth Ramachandra

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra, was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and holds both bachelors and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of London. Instead of pursuing an academic career, he returned to Sri Lanka in 1980 and helped to develop a Chrisitan university ministry in that country. 

He currently serves on the Senior Leadership Team for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) as the Secretary for Dialogue & Social Engagement. His multi-faceted, international ministry includes promoting among students and faculty a holistic, dialogical engagement with the world of the university; and helping Christian graduates act with Christian integrity in the face of the social, cultural, and political challenges they face in their national contexts throughout the world. 

Vinoth’s Danish wife Karin, whom he married in 1998, passed away in 2018. Vinoth has also been involved with the Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka, as well as with the global Micah Network (a network of development and justice organizations) and A Rocha (a world-wide biodiversity conservation organization). He is also on the International Advisory Council of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, based in Cambridge, England. He is the author of several essays, articles, and books including Gods That Fail (2nd ed. 2016), Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues that Shape Our World (2008), and Church and Mission in the New Asia (2009).


We are staying at the Princeton Seminary Erdman Center, a short walk from the Princeton University campus. The Erdman Center has beautiful accommodations, including many single rooms (with a private bathroom) and comfortable community lounges for good conversation. This is a welcoming place to make new friends, commune with God, play, learn, and reflect on your life in grad school. Visit the Erdman Center website to learn more about the accommodations and surrounding area.


Don't delay! On-site housing at the Erdman’s Center is first-come, first-serve so sign up soon to reserve a spot! More housing will be available off-campus. Free parking passes are provided at the Erdman Center. Learn more about conference pricing and registration.

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