Bible colleges in Illinois have sued state education regulators in federal court over awarding degrees to students completing their programs.
The lawsuit filed late Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago contends the Illinois Board of Higher Education is violating the colleges' First Amendment protections of free religious exercise and free speech.
John Mauck (MOWK') is the lawyer for three Bible colleges and other plaintiffs. He says the colleges want to be able to issue religious-studies degrees.
But the higher education board requires degrees to come from academically accredited and state-certified schools.
Democratic Sen. Bill Haine of Alton pushed legislation through the Senate last year that would have allowed Bible-college degrees that made clear they were not from accredited schools. It did not pass the House.