Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): A+S: Students seek to spiritually support people with disabilities

The students of the “Spirituality, disability and inclusion” course , taught by Professor Cristián Núñez from the Faculty of Theology and Professor Ana Gutiérrez (co-teacher) from the Faculty of Education , met the community partners with whom they will work for the rest of the semester. Through the Learning and Service methodology, this course intends that students―in addition to valuing spirituality in their lives―become a concrete contribution to society, based on the development of a service project that improves and/or enhance the spiritual development of people with disabilities.

In a hybrid meeting, they met the representatives of the five community partners, who told them in broad strokes about the work carried out by each of their organizations. “Behind these institutions there are faces and the course wants to reach those faces,” said Cristián Núñez.

From the perspective of Fundamental Theology and, in accordance with the vision of current inclusive education , the course seeks to deepen the importance of understanding and developing the spiritual dimension of the human being in a context of inclusion. “From an interdisciplinary work, typical of a general training course that integrates students from various careers, the experience aims to offer a service proposal to community partners, arising from the meeting between the needs that students detect in the institutions visited and their own developing capacities”, explained the academic.

The course seeks to deepen the importance of understanding and developing the spiritual dimension of the human being in a context of inclusion.


Some of these institutions are part of a Learning and Service platform with which the Catholic University has been working for 18 years. This is the case of Edudown, the Pedro Aguirre Cerda Rehabilitation Institute and the Batuco Mission.

Other community partners were managed through the Common Project , an initiative of the Directorate of Pastoral and Christian Culture UC and the Church of Santiago that seek social solutions from the academy. Through them, contact was made with the catechesis of people with disabilities of the Nuestra Señora de La Preciosa Sangre de Cerro Navia parish and the “Hands that include” project of the San Roque parish in Peñalolén.

“The experience aims to offer a service proposal to community partners, which arises from the meeting between the needs that students detect in the institutions visited and their own developing capacities” – Cristián Núñez, academic

Regarding its mission, Rosario Labbé, representative of the Manos que Inclusen project, stressed that “We have to respond to the needs of families and young people who need to be part of this community of baptized people.”

In this first meeting, the students were able to meet their partners in order to detect needs that their communities may have, choose who to work with and then propose projects that benefit them.

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