The development of students as “stewards of the discipline” should be the purpose of doctoral education. A steward is a scholar in the fullest sense of the term—someone who can imaginatively generate new knowledge, critically conserve valuable and useful ideas, and responsibly transform those understandings through writing, teaching, and application. Stewardship also has an ethical and moral dimension; it is a role that transcends a collection of accomplishments and skills. A steward is someone to whom the vigor, quality, and integrity of the field can be entrusted. The most important period of a steward’s formation occurs during formal doctoral education.
Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Education is a collection of essays commissioned for the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate. The question posed to the essayists in this volume was, “If you could start de novo, what would be the best way to structure doctoral education in your field to prepare stewards of the discipline?” The authors of the essays are respected thinkers, researchers, and scholars who are experienced with and thoughtful about doctoral education.