This is an interesting First Amendment issue.

NBC Chicago reports:

Illinois Bible Colleges Sue for Right to Issue Degree

Bible colleges in Illinois have filed a federal lawsuit against state education regulators, seeking the unencumbered right to award degrees to students who complete their programs.

The lawsuit, filed late Friday in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, contends the Illinois Board of Higher Education is violating the Bible colleges’ First Amendment rights of free religious exercise and free speech and ignoring the establishment clause prohibiting a state-sponsored creed.

The Bible colleges — there are about 15 statewide — don’t have full-fledged collegiate curriculums that the IBHE requires to issue degrees. But the schools’ leaders say not every student is seeking that; many want the religious education at a quarter or less of the cost of other private and many public institutions.

More than anything, the schools argue, the U.S. Constitution requires the government to stay out of it.

“We don’t think there can be state regulation of a religious program,” the Rev. Jim Scudder Jr., president of Dayspring Bible College and Seminary in the Chicago suburb of Mundelein, told The Associated Press. “If there is, then the state is deciding ‘which’ religion and breaking the establishment clause of the First Amendment.”