In my years as a sidewalk counselor, I have learned how many women coming to an abortion clinic for their appointment haven’t yet decided if they want to have an abortion that day. I have developed successful methods for how to start conversations with abortion-minded people so that we can offer them resources and help that they need to leave the clinic and choose life for their child. Find out in this course what I’ve learned that has helped save the lives of more than 60 babies.

Jacob Nels, Sidewalk Counselor

Often pro-life advocates who have never done sidewalk counseling before are hesitant to get started because they feel like they don’t know what to say or do. Many are afraid they will say the wrong thing. Additionally, there are so many loving people that are already doing the work of going to the clinic, but don’t have access to the training they need to be more effective at reaching abortion-minded people. That is why we have created the Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass.

Watch the trailer below:

I can tell you with confidence that many times the person who is coming to the abortion facility for their appointment will actually talk themselves out of the abortion if they are given the chance to process their situation out loud. Even a beginner to sidewalk counseling can help to save lives. You could be that person.


An Introduction to Jacob and Sidewalk Counseling
Hear about how Jacob Nels first got involved in sidewalk counseling and how this training should be used in your pro-life advocacy moving forward.
Choosing an Abortion Facility
Sometimes pro-life advocates have multiple abortion facilities in their area. Josh Brahm and Jacob discuss what you should be looking for when you are choosing between locations for sidewalk counseling.
Accomplishing the Secondary Goal
In this lesson, Josh Brahm interviews special guest David Bereit, Founder and Former CEO of 40 Days for Life, about how pro-life advocates can work towards shutting down an abortion facility while at the same time serving their primary goal of helping families choose life for their child.
Getting to Know The Clinic
Once you’ve chosen an abortion facility for sidewalk counseling, there is some information you can gather which will greatly increase your success rate and ensure that you know what times you should be out on the sidewalk.
Getting to Know Local Pregnancy Resource Centers
Jacob interviews special guest Kristi Burkhart, Executive Director of Fresno Pregnancy Care Center, about how to build relationships with local pregnancy centers and how to overcome challenges that may arise during this process. Together they discuss why having this relationship with the staff at the pregnancy center before bringing clients to them from the abortion facility can better serve both the women and pro-life community.
Signs and Brochures
The sign a sidewalk counselor is holding sets the tone for how they are perceived on the sidewalk. Jacob will help you think through your goals at the facility that day and teach you which signs to have or avoid to help you meet those goals. He also goes into detail about how he uses the Equal Rights Institute Outreach Brochure to share information once he is in the conversation with an abortion-minded person, what other kind of literature to give out, and which phone apps can be useful as well.
Preparing for a Counseling Day
Having the right practical tools with you on a counseling day can set you up for successful conversations. Jacob will walk you through everything from how you should be dressed to what items you should bring you or leave at home.
Non-Talkers: Creating a Peaceful Witness
Many pro-life advocates choose to come to the abortion clinic but do not want to start conversations with abortion-minded people. This non-speaking role can play a critical part in saving lives and helping sidewalk counselors have more conversation if you have the right strategy and tools. Jacob gives practical tips for how you can be a powerful witness on the sidewalk without saying anything!
Conversation Starters
Starting the conversation is sometimes the hardest task for sidewalk counselors, but Jacob has created a list of different ways to do so that many pro-life people wouldn’t think of that he wants to share with you! He explains how you can think through your individual experience and use that to connect with people.
The Conversation-Oriented Method Part One
Jacob walks through step-by-step how to have a life-saving conversation with an abortion-minded person. He will help you avoid one of the biggest mistakes that untrained counselors make.
The Conversation-Oriented Method Part Two
Jacob will teach you what questions you should be asking and when in the conversation should you introduce information and resources.
Saving a Baby Who has a Poor Prenatal Diagnosis
What should a sidewalk counselor say to a family that tells them that they love their baby, but are coming for an abortion because they found out their unborn child has a terminal illness? Jacob shares in this lesson some of the invaluable information he has learned from the organization Be Not Afraid, that specializes in resources for families who receive a poor prenatal diagnosis. He talks about some of the things that pro-life people might be naturally inclined to say to families in this situation and explains why these approaches are actually unhelpful.
Diplomacy with Alternative Sidewalk Counselors
Sometimes there will be other pro-life people coming to the same abortion clinic as you, but they want to use alternative methods to the ones you are using. Diplomacy with other pro-life advocates isn’t always easy, but with some out-of-the-box strategic thinking and plenty of experience, Jacob has created some practical tips that you can use in this situation.
Talking to Clinic Escorts and Workers
If we want to end abortion, we must help people leave the abortion industry. Whether someone is a volunteer or staff for the clinic, our witness to them can either encourage them to leave the abortion industry or alienate them from the pro-life message. In this lesson, Jacob shares how to build a relationship with these workers and how to have the right attitude towards them, even when it is difficult for us.
How to Talk with the Police
Safety must be a priority for every sidewalk counselor and sometimes it can be necessary to call the police for the safety of everyone. Jacob walks you through situations when it is or is not necessary to call the police, what to do when they arrive, and how to document the incident properly.
How to Process Failures
Not every conversation with an abortion-minded family is going to end with a life saved. Sometimes pro-life advocates replay those conversations over and over again, wondering what they should have said or done differently. Jacob talks through how we can learn from our mistakes and grow as sidewalk counselors while at the same time having a healthy outlook of the situation.

Here is what people who have completed the Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass have to say!

"The material in this course is thorough and relevant, but most of all it made me feel less intimidated and more confident that I can do sidewalk counseling in a compassionate and caring way. I've had some experience with sidewalk counseling, and some training, but never felt I could make a difference until now." ~ Debra, Sidewalk Counselor

"I would recommend this course to anyone involved in sidewalk counseling, and even those who don’t feel comfortable doing actual counseling just yet. As a quieter person, I never thought I could make that much of an impact, but now I know that there is so much for me to do." ~ Sarah

"I highly recommend this to everyone who's interested in doing peaceful pro-life work outside of an abortion facility. It works amazingly as both a stand alone training and a supplement to other sidewalk counseling training." ~ Ellen

"This course has real-life lessons from seasoned sidewalk counselors. I appreciated so much that they not only make suggestions of what to do, but also shared their own mistakes and what they have learned. It's paced such that you don't need any experience in sidewalk counseling to follow it. The training is incredibly practical---- seriously, this course will be some of the best money you ever spend." ~ Laura

"I am eager to get as many of the pro-lifers I know to take The Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass to learn to be more effective on the sidewalk! The course pulls together people with tons of experience, who discovered from experience what works and what makes things worse. It prepares us to deal with just about anything and anyone we might encounter." ~ Jim Burke, Vice-President of the Coalition for Life of Iowa


A Comprehensive Workbook

To help you get the most out of the Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass, our team has designed a workbook to use as you watch the video lessons. Formatted as a PDF, you will have access to it immediately when you purchase the course for yourself or your group. The workbook contains 46 practical tips, FAQs about the material covered in the lessons, easy to follow step-by-step instructions, and organized notes which you can add to as you see fit.

Members-only Facebook Group

Members of the Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass will have much more access to Jacob’s advice than the general public does, and one of the ways that’ll be possible is through the private Facebook group. Have a question? Post it there Jacob will respond right there! You’ll likely get other great thoughts from other sidewalk counselors who have also taken this course. This will also be a place where the other members can get to know like-minded pro-life advocates and share stories from their time out on the sidewalk. Together we can develop better strategies and receive support that we may not have locally.

Deeper Dive Videos

Bonus video content which gives you practical information beyond the lessons. Hear about our favorite phone app we recommend for sidewalk counselors, how to efficiently plan routes when researching multiple abortion clinic locations, how to use the custom ERI outreach brochure, and much more!

Bottom line: If you are a pro-life advocate and you want to save babies and help families, this is the course for you.

How Do I Get Started?

As soon as you purchase you get a unique username and password where you can access the entire Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass online. You will have permanent access to everything on the website.

If you purchase a group membership, we’ll send you instructions on how to send us the full names and email addresses of your group members and we’ll set up their free membership (included in your purchase) on our end, and they’ll simply get an email with their login info.


Your entire group of up to 10 gets access to everything in the individual membership including their own login to download the audio-version of the course and access to the private Facebook group.

Group Membership for 10

Instant Access
16 Lessons
Private Facebook Group for Members Only

Individual Membership

Group Membership for 30

Your entire group of up to 30 gets access to everything in the individual membership including their own login to download the audio-version of the course and access to the private Facebook group.


Can I download the course?

You can download the MP3 versions of every course video, if you want to listen to the course or review it later while driving or walking. You can’t download the videos; you have to stream them from the website.

I am a leader of a pro-life group. How does group membership work?

Assuming your group has 30 or fewer people in it, register your members for group rate option below and you will get instant access to the site. The last step is for you to send us the full names and email addresses of your group members and we’ll set up their free membership (included in your group purchase) on our end, and they’ll simply get an email with their login info.

My group has more than 10 people? What should I do?

If your group has between 10 and 30, the $399 is a great deal, with each seat costing the same or being discounted from the group of 10 option (depending on how many people you have). But if you just have a few more people than 10 or 30, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll work something out. The last step is for you to send us the full names, email addresses, and phone numbers of your group members and we’ll set up their free membership on our end, and they’ll simply get an email with their login info.

If I purchase the individual membership can I show the videos to a group?

Yes, we encourage our members to host an event where they play the videos for a group of people and go through the course together. However, that group of people will not be able to download the MP3s or have access to the Facebook group unless they purchase the course themselves.

Do you offer bulk discounts?

Yes. If you have somewhere between 31-99 students, we’ll get them all set up and lock in the Group of 30 rate of $13.30 per person. If you want to bring in 100 or more, we’ll give a major discount for them at just $5.00 per person! In that case, don’t purchase the course here. Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you set up. You’ll ultimately need to get us a spreadsheet with everyone’s first name, last name, and email address, so we can set up their memberships and invoice you for however many people are getting the course.

Letter From the Author


I’m Jacob Nels, ERI’s staff sidewalk counselor and outreach coordinator. In 2008, I left a 16-year career as a carpenter to work full-time trying to make abortion unthinkable. Through training and campus outreaches, I’ve helped thousands of pro-life people treat pro-choice people with compassion and understanding.

I didn’t always do sidewalk counseling. I was nervous when I was first invited to participate in a 40 Days for Life event years ago; I had no experience, I didn’t know what to expect, and it was very different from the campus outreach setting. But I also saw just how powerful sidewalk counseling can be to save children and help families. And so, since 2012, I’ve spent my Fridays working as a sidewalk counselor at a local abortion facility here in Atlanta. In that time, through God’s grace, I’ve gotten to be a part of saving the lives of around 60 babies.

I’ve spent a lot of time finding what works and what doesn’t work to reach abortion-minded people in front of the abortion facility. People there don’t want to talk philosophy, and abortion isn’t a question they can just put on the shelf for later; they’ve probably thought about it for days on end. So how can we get through to the abortion-minded woman? What’s the best way to reach out to the driver who brought her to the abortion facility?
I’m excited to share the answers to these questions, and many more like them,with you in the Sidewalk Counseling Masterclass. I want you to be as effective as possible, because when you’re in front of the abortion facility, you’re in a unique position where your actions can directly cause lives to be saved.

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. Equal Rights Institute, Inc.