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Luca Badetti, PhD

I promote personal and social growth through inclusive community belonging.

Welcome to all


I teach at Loyola University Chicago's John Felice Rome Center, where I also support students' community engagement through program coordination.

I believe individual formation and social transformation happen as people encounter themselves and others, creating community with those at the margins. 

I have an interdisciplinary background in clinical psychology, theology, and disability studies, and held leadership and consulting roles in inclusive shared life communities.

Here you can find more about my academic, community, clinical, and research experience, and the vision that animates my work.

"The relevant insights and inclusive stories . . . 

can help us believe and grow in our humanity . . ."

Helen Prejean

"This beautiful book is about becoming who we are . . ." 

James Martin, SJ


". . . a wonderful book . . ." 

Ronald Rolheiser

"You must read this book."

David Arute

Finding personal and social wellbeing

through inclusive community and transformation. 

Finding direction, individually and socially,

during times of disorientation and loss. 

"In this significant and deeply grounded book, which draws from various disciplines, Luca Badetti offers both insight and new possibilities for movement toward healing . . ."  

John Swinton  


". . . a clear-eyed pathway through the night-moments  that we all encounter."  

Lisa Irish


"The delightful result is an unflappable hope!"  

David Richo  



  • PhD in Disability Studies

  • MS in Clinical Psychology

  • BA in Theology; Communication Arts.    Minors: Mental Health and Human Services; Philosophy

  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) fellow

  • Fellow in Psychoanalysis


  • Loyola University    Chicago John Felice Rome Center

Taught at:

  • Loyola University    Chicago (Institute of Pastoral Studies)

  • DePaul University (Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies)
  • University of Roehampton London (Catherine of Siena College)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Dept. of Disability and Human Development) 
  • Adler University (Public Policy/Human Rights Advocacy)

Courses taught:

  • Theology of Disability​ (created + taught)

  • Disability Studies: An Introduction (created + taught)

  • Introduction to Christian Ethics

  • Church and Global Cultures

  • Foundations of Pastoral Care

  • Research Methods for the Pastoral Counselor

  • Seminar on Multiculturalism in the U.S.

  • Human Rights - The View from Rome

  • Human Rights: Policies and Outcomes  


Guest lectures or presentations at:

  • University of Malta (visiting lecturer)

  • The American University of Rome

  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose Siracusa San Metodio

  • Università Pontificia Salesiana  

  • Dominican University

  • King's University College  

  • The University of Chicago         

community+ CLINICAL

Coordination role at:

  • Loyola University Chicago John Felice Rome Center (Service Learning and First Year Experience Coordinator)

Worked at:

  • L'Arche Chicago  (Director of Community  Life; Community Coordinator; Assistant)

  • L'Arche Greater Washington DC (Assistant) 

  • L'Arche Irenicon  (Assistant)

Lived and volunteered at:​

  • L'Arche Il Chicco (Italy)

  • L'Arche Trosly (France)

Co-founded and co-chaired:

  • L'Arche USA Inclusion Team

   Provided Consultancy to:

  • L'Arche International

  • The Lay Centre (Community Life and Communications Consultor)


Clinical Experience at:

  • UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinics (Clinical intern: Therapist and social skills group co-leader)       


Selected publications:   


  • I Believe in You (book, New City Press)

  • Hope in Darkness. Leaving Night (book, Paulist Press)

  • "Community" (encyclopedia entry in Disability in American Life: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Policies and Controversies, ABC-CLIO)

  • "Approaching Disability: Pastoral History and Practice Analyzed Through the Models of the Church" in Concilium (EN, IT, ES, DE, PT)

  • Living out participation. Growing in confidence and belonging (Catechetica ed Educazione journal)

  • Self and community. The importance of interdependence and its shadow side (Journal of Disability & Religion)          


Conducted research for:

  • UIC Institute on Disability and Human Development

    • Special Olympics International

    • The Autism Program

    • LEND

    • Support Service Teams

    • Aging and Disability Research Centers 

Selected lectures/talks:






(see CV for full list)

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"The wisdom of gentleness leads us to treat people with care, to approach humanity with reverence . . . As we recognize the beauty and potential of others, while listening and seeking to understand where they come from, we show that we believe in them."

Luca Badetti from "I Believe in you," p. 105, New City Press, 2021

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We grow, as individuals and as a society, through encounter and community.

The human person has important needs and aspirations that are to be understood and respected. Helping people encounter self and others beyond divisions has been at the core of my teaching, writing, community leadership, and clinical experience.

Individual and communal flourishing is multi-layered and needs holistic supports. 

Discoveries from thinkers through time, alongside developments in psychology and theology, can provide great insight into what helps people thrive. Through my interdisciplinary formation,  I encourage others to find what helps them flourish.

Community is a place where people can feel that they belong just as they are.

In community we discover our interdependence: we need one another. I have grown in this understanding by living with people from different cultural and religious backgrounds, with and without intellectual disabilities, in international inclusive communities. 

Creating inclusive community is a journey of awareness, advocacy, and care.

Community is a sign of beauty and justice.  At its core, it should listen to the needs of people excluded because they are considered "different", recognizing the social dynamics that oppress them and becoming a sign of empowerment. Through service learning coordination, I encourage learning through community engagement, advocacy, and care.  

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Page credits:  Video on theology of inclusion is from Ewtn News in Depth report aired on 6/10/22. In "Vision & Action" section: 2nd video is a selection of "Self and community. The importance of interdependence and its shadow side," 2016 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability (Collaborative on Faith and Disability), Western Theological Seminary, Hope College; 3rd video is a selection of "Liberating disability. It speaks about us all" (Peace Studies Lecture Series AUR, 2019).

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