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Luca Badetti, PhD

I promote personal and social growth through inclusive community belonging.

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


I teach at Loyola University Chicago's John Felice Rome Center.

I have an interdisciplinary background in disability studies, clinical psychology and theology, 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.

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  • 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             (see CV for full list)

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)

  • "Community" &"L'Arche" (encyclopedia entries, Disability in American Life: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Policies and Controversies, ABC-CLIO)

  • Self and community. The importance of interdependence and its shadow side (Journal of Disability & Religion)                 (see CV for full list)


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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Coming Soon!

August 2023

Paulist Press

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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 respected, listened to and understood. Each person is also a mystery to him-herself, defying easy categorization and predictable approaches. Helping people encounter themselves and others - psychologically, culturally and spiritually - has been at the core of my academic teaching, community leadership, program coordination, clinical and research experience.

The authentic encounter - intellectual, psychological and spiritual - with ourselves and with others is a path of acceptance, discovery and connection. 

Encountering and embracing the fullness of our humanity is easier with valid supports. Intellectually, we can learn much from questions thinkers and change-makers have explored through time; in my university teaching I strive to go to the "heart" of these, encouraging students to reflect on what makes sense for their own lives. Emotionally and spiritually, psychological and theological developments have given us insights about what helps people live well; grounded in my interdisciplinary background and experience in the psychological and pastoral realms, I seek to approach the human in a holistic way.

Community is a place where people can feel that they belong and that they matter just because they are, no matter what their abilities and inabilities are. 

Each person has abilities to share and inabilities that call for others' support. In community we discover our interdependence: we need one another. I have grown in this understanding by living with people with and without intellectual disabilities in international L'Arche communities. The encounter with disability has been profoundly formative for me, has influenced my path and shaped my vision. Deeper than ideas and productivity, the heart is the center of personhood where we can recognize our humanity across our similarities and differences. 

Creating inclusive community with others, in the the midst of our similarities and differences, highlights our shared humanity, our unique gifts, and how inter-connected we are.

Forming inclusive communities is a sign of beauty and justice. 

It is important to listen to the needs of people excluded because they are considered "different" (whether they have disabilities or not), to recognize the social dynamics that oppress them and to understand the freeing ways of empowerment.

Through service learning and teaching, and community work to help people meet across diverse backgrounds, I seek to encourage encounter across cultures while raising awareness and advocacy for the needs of the marginalized. 

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Page credits: Group photo above this section by Sally O'Donnell. 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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