Stewardship is personal responsibility for taking care of another person's property or financial affairs or in religious orders taking care of finances. Historically, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee's responsibility for managing household or domestic affairs. Stewardship later became the responsibility for taking care of passengers' domestic needs on a ship, train and airplane, or managing the service provided to diners in a restaurant. The term continues to be used in these specific ways, but it is also used in a more general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something one does not own.

Environmental stewardship

Stewardship is an ethic that embodies cooperative planning and management of environmental resources with organizations, communities and others to actively engage in the prevention of loss of habitat and facilitate its recovery in the interest of long-term sustainability (Fisheries and Oceans Canada - 'Stewardship in Action' program)

Product stewardship is a specific aspect of environmental stewardship that applies to commercial products.


In an organizational context, stewardship refers to management's responsibility to properly utilize and develop its resources, including its people, its property and its financial assets. For more in depth detail, see, in Organizational development, the pages on succession planning, employee development, and performance improvement.In a development sense, stewardship also refers to thanking and recognizing donors. This includes organizing thank you phone calls, recognition events, and conveying the impact that the donor's gift has had.

Land claims

Stewardship in a land claims context is when a monarch or other noble may appoint a steward to oversee parts of his or her realm.


Stewardship also has many meanings in theology. Green Christianity emphasizes stewardship as a Bible-based environmental outlook. Financial stewardship is based on the belief that God is the true owner of each person's possessions, and that one is accountable to God for the acceptable care and use of those possessions. Stewardship can also refer to Jesus Christ's accountability to God the Father for the Christians that have been entrusted to Him.

ee also

* Agency (law)
* Forest farming
* Religion and ecology



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  • stewardship — stew‧ard‧ship [ˈstjuːədʆɪp ǁ ˈstuːərd ] noun [uncountable] the way in which someone controls and takes care of an organization or event: • He said that the firm, under the stewardship of his assistants, would suffer no disruptions. * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • Stewardship — Stew ard*ship, n. The office of a steward. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stewardship — index control (supervision), custody (supervision), generalship, government (administration), management ( …   Law dictionary

  • stewardship — stew|ard|ship [ˈstju:ədʃıp US ˈstu:ərd ] n [U] someone s stewardship of something is the way that they control or protect it stewardship of ▪ Some critics have doubts about his stewardship of the nation. under sb s stewardship ▪ The farm was… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Stewardship — Ste|ward|ship [ stju:ədʃɪp ], die; [engl. stewardship, eigtl. = Verwaltung]: (in der protestantischen Kirche der USA) Dienst der Gemeindemitglieder, die einen Teil ihrer Zeit, ihrer Fähigkeiten u. ihres Geldes der Gemeinde zur Verfügung stellen.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • stewardship — noun Date: 15th century 1. the office, duties, and obligations of a steward 2. the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one s care < stewardship of our… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • stewardship — noun a) The rank or office of a steward. Foresters believe in stewardship of the land. b) The act of caring for or improving with time …   Wiktionary

  • Stewardship — Ste|ward|ship [ stju:ɐdʃip] die; <aus gleichbed. engl. stewardship, eigtl. »Verwaltungsdienst«, zu steward (vgl. ↑Steward) u. ship (engl. Suffix im Sinne von dt. » schaft«)> Laiendienst der Gemeindemitglieder, die einen Teil ihrer Zeit,… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • stewardship — stew|ard|ship [ stuərd,ʃıp ] noun uncount the way in which someone organizes and takes care of something: the government s stewardship of the national parks …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • stewardship — [[t]stju͟ːə(r)dʃɪp, AM stu͟ː [/t]] N UNCOUNT: usu N of n Stewardship is the responsibility of looking after property. [FORMAL] …   English dictionary

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