“Friends believe that only God ordains a minister. His people recognize God’s ordination and record those called and gifted for public ministry. For legal purposes and tax requirements, the term recording is interchangeable with the term ‘ordination.’” (Faith and Practice)
For tax purposes recording and commissioning are essentially the same. However, recording is for life, while commissioning is valid as long the minister is employed in the local church which proposed the commissioning. Therefore, the academic requirements for recording are significantly greater than the requirements for commissioning. Senior pastors are expected to be recorded or to be pursuing recording. EFCSW also gives annual licenses to qualified lay ministers who request them. (See Licensed Minister Handbook)
The purpose of the Board of Recording and Commissioning is to officially validate for the denominational region and the state the ministerial calling and gifts already recognized by the local congregations where the minister serves.
The Board of Recording and Commissioning (BRC) meets in plenary session four times per year–January, April, June and October–to set policy, to interview candidates, to review progress of candidates and to approve for recording or commissioning those ministers nominated by their local churches, and who have met the required criteria.